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Singapore

Suspected scammer bank accounts can be frozen within a day in new police collaboration with financial institutions

SINGAPORE: With a new collaboration between the police and financial institutions, most bank accounts suspected to be involved in scam operations can now be frozen within a day once the police are notified.  

More than 20 financial institutions are involved in this collaboration with the police, said Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan in Parliament on Monday (Mar 1) as he touched on Project FRONTIER - Funds Recovery Operations and Networks Team, Inspiring Effective Resolutions.

“This is a big step forward from the 14 to 60 working days that these tasks used to take,” said Mr Tan at the Ministry of Home Affairs' (MHA) Committee of Supply debate, responding to a question from MP Derrick Goh (PAP-Nee Soon) about the measures taken to help victims recover their losses. 

Mr Tan noted that more than 15,000 cases of scams were reported in 2020, a 65 per cent increase from 2019.  

READ: Home Team focused on transformation through increased use of technology, says Shanmugam

In his speech, Mr Tan also responded to questions from MP Vikram Nair (PAP-Sembawang) and NMP Raj Joshua Thomas about how the new Security Agencies Competency Evaluation (SACE) framework will encourage the adoption of technology by the private security industry. 

"A key assessment area under the SACE will be on how much security agencies harness technology, to augment critical areas such as training, operations, command and control and communications.

“These competencies will be reviewed periodically to keep up with technological developments, and complement efforts under the Security Industry Transformation Map.”

PROTECTING SECURITY OFFICERS FROM ABUSE

MHA takes a "very serious view" of abusive behaviours towards security officers, and the Private Security Industry Act will be amended to include new offences to address the common types of verbal and physical abuse that security officers face when carrying out their duties, announced Mr Tan. 

“These offences will also carry harsher punishments or penalties compared to similar offences against the general public,” he added. MHA will also work with the industry to encourage the use of body-worn cameras to further deter abuse, he added. 

Source: CNA/gs(rw)

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