A total of 254 men and 122 women are currently being investigated for their suspected involvement in scams where the victims have reportedly lost over S$9.2 million, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a press release on Dec. 9.
The suspects are aged between 13 and 71.
This was after officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and the seven Police Land Divisions conducted a two-week operation between Nov. 25 and Dec. 8.
Over 1,300 cases of scams
The suspects are believed to be involved in more than 1,300 cases of scams as either scammers or money mules.
The scams mainly comprise e-commerce scams, internet love scams, job scams, rental scams, fake friend call scams, and the impersonation of government and China officials.
The suspects are being investigated for the alleged offences of cheating, money laundering or providing payment services without a licence.
Up to 10 years in prison
The offence of cheating carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.
Those found guilty of money laundering can be jailed for up to 10 years, fined up to S$500,000, or be subjected to both.
The offence of carrying on a business to provide any type of payment service in Singapore without a licence carries a fine of up to S$125,000, an imprisonment term of up to three years, or both.
The SPF said that they "take a serious stance against any person who may be involved in scams, and perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law."
The SPF also called on the public to avoid being an accomplice to crimes by rejecting requests by others to use their bank account or mobile lines.
"You will be held accountable if these are linked to crimes," the police said.
Top photo by Camilo Jimenez via Unsplash