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Singapore

12-year-old among 336 people investigated over scams; victims lost more than S$13 million

12-year-old among 336 people investigated over scams; victims lost more than S$13 million
File photo of police officers on patrol in Singapore. (File photo: Hanidah Amin)

SINGAPORE: A total of 336 people, including a 12-year-old, are being investigated for their suspected involvement in scams, said the police on Saturday (Sep 25). 

The suspects, who were allegedly involved as scammers or money mules, comprise 236 men and 100 women aged between 12 and 74. 

They are believed to be involved in more than 1,439 cases of scams, in which victims lost more than S$13 million, said police in a news release. 

The scams mainly comprise Internet love scams, e-commerce scams, China officials impersonation scams, government officials impersonation scams, business email impersonation scams, investment scams, job scams, and loan scams. 

The investigation follows a two-week operation between Sep 10 and Sep 24. 

Police said the suspects are being investigated for offences of cheating, money laundering or providing payment services without a licence. 

Those found guilty of cheating can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

Those found guilty of money laundering can be jailed for up to 10 years, fined up to S$500,000, or both.

Carrying on a business providing any type of payment service in Singapore without a licence carries a fine of up to S$125,000, a jail term of up to three years, or both.

The police said it "takes a serious stance" against anyone who may be involved in scams, adding 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," the police added. 

Source: CNA/ad(zl)

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