Following a two-week enforcement operation conducted between 16 and 29 January 2021 by officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and the seven Police land divisions, 229 men and 115 women, aged between 16 and 77, are currently assisting with investigations for their suspected involvement in scams as scammers or money mules. The suspects are believed to be involved in 607 cases of scams, comprising mainly of Internet love scams, e-commerce scams, China official impersonation scams, fake gambling platform scams and loan scams, which victims purportedly lost more than $9.84 million.
The suspects are being investigated for the offence 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 an imprisonment term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $500,000. 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 is punishable with a fine not exceeding $125,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or both.
The Police take a serious view against any person who may be involved in scams, and perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law. To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, members of the public should always reject requests by others to use your bank account or mobile lines as you 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 at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
Source: Singapore Police Force