SINGAPORE, Nov 6 — The police are investigating 296 people for their suspected involvement in more than 1,000 cases of scams where victims lost more than S$6.4 million (RM19.7 million).
A total of 194 men and 102 women, aged between 16 and 80, are allegedly involved as scammers or money mules.
The police said in a news release yesterday that the various cases under investigation mainly consist of:
- internet love scams
- e-commerce scams
- culprits impersonating China officials
- culprits impersonating government officials
- scams related to investments, jobs and loans
The suspects were identified during a two-week operation by officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and seven police land divisions between October 22 and November 5.
This is the second such island-wide operation against scammers and money mules that the police have announced within a month.
Two weeks ago, they said that they were investigating 257 suspects believed to have been involved in a total of 849 scams of various types that cost victims more than S$10.9 million.
The police said yesterday that the latest group of suspects are being investigated for offences of cheating, money laundering or providing payment services without a licence.
Anyone found guilty of cheating could be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.
For money laundering, the maximum penalty is a jail term of up to 10 years or a fine of up to S$500,000, or both.
If convicted of carrying on a business that provides any type of payment service in Singapore without a licence, the offender could be fined up to S$125,000 or jailed for up to three years, or both.
The police said that they take a serious stance against any person who may be involved in scams, and that 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,” they said.
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. — TODAY