315 men and women, aged between 15 and 74, are currently assisting with investigations for their suspected involvement in scams, as scammers or money mules, according to a press release from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on July 31.
Victims lost more than S$8.1 million
The suspects, a total of 218 men and 97 women, were identified from a two-week operation between July 17 and 30, 2021.
The operation involved officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and seven Police Land Divisions.
The suspects are believed to be involved in more than 926 cases of scams, comprising mainly of:
- Internet love scams
- E-commerce scams
- China officials impersonation scams
- Investment scams
- Job scams
- Fake gambling platform scams
- Loan scams
In all, victims lost more than S$8.1 million.
The suspects are being investigated for the offences of cheating, money laundering or providing payment services without a licence.
The offence of cheating under section 420 of the Penal Code carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years and a fine.
The offence of money laundering under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act carries imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, a fine not exceeding S$500,000, or both.
The offence of carrying on a business of providing any type of payment service in Singapore without a licence under Section 5 of the Payment Services Act 2019 carries a fine not exceeding S$125,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or both.
To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, members of the public should always reject requests by others to use their bank account or mobile lines. They will be held accountable if these are linked to crimes.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688.
Anyone with information on such scams may call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online here.
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