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Singapore

157 suspects investigated for scams where victims lost more than S$2 million

157 suspects investigated for scams where victims lost more than S$2 million
FILE PHOTO: The growing number of scams and their constant evolution necessitates increased caution. (Photo: Shutterstock)

SINGAPORE: A two-week islandwide operation cracking down on scammers and money mules found 157 suspects involved in scams where victims lost more than S$2 million, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Friday (Feb 11). 

The suspects, comprising 97 men and 60 women, are aged between 16 and 71. They are assisting investigations for their suspected involvement in more than 495 scams.

The cases comprise mainly Internet love scams, e-commerce scams, bank-related phishing scams, tech support scams, China/Government Officials impersonation scams, investment scams, job scams and loan scams.

The two-week operation took place between Jan 28 and Feb 10 and involved officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and the seven Police Land Divisions.

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

If convicted for cheating, they can be jailed up to 10 years and fined.

Money laundering carries a jail term not exceeding 10 years, a fine not exceeding S$500,000, or both.

The offense of carrying on a business to provide any type of payment service without a licence carries a fine not exceeding S$125,000, an imprisonment 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 your bank account or mobile lines as you will be held accountable if these are linked to crimes," the police said. 

"The Police take a serious stance against any person who may be involved in scams, and perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law."

Members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688, for access to resources and the latest information on scams.

SPF encourages 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: CNA/pn
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