Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and the seven Police Land Divisions conducted a two-week operation between 16 and 29 September 2022. A total of 213 men and 99 women, aged between 16 and 78, are assisting in investigations for their suspected involvement in scams as scammers or money mules.
The suspects are believed to be involved in more than 1,175 cases of scams, comprising mainly internet love scams, loan scams, bank phishing scams, business email compromise scams, Government and China Officials impersonation scams, where victims reportedly lost over $15.7 million.
The suspects are being investigated for the alleged offences of cheating, money laundering or providing payment services without a licence.
The offence of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code 1871 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 1992 carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $500,000, or both.
The offence of carrying on a business to provide any type of payment service in Singapore without a licence under Section 5 of the Payment Services Act 2019 carries a fine of up to $125,000, an imprisonment term of up to three years, or both.
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. 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.