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309 people investigated over scams in Singapore

ANN/THE STAR – A total of 309 people in Singapore are assisting in investigations for their suspected involvement in scams where victims reportedly lost over SGD14 million.

The 211 men and 98 women, aged between 15 and 75, are believed to be involved in more than 1,700 cases of scams as scammers or money mules, the police said yesterday.

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

Their victims fell for scams comprising mainly friend impersonation, e-commerce, investments, internet love and jobs.

Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and seven police land divisions had conducted a two-week operation between June 7 and June 20. The offence of cheating carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine, while those guilty of money laundering can be jailed for up to 10 years, fined up to SGD500,000, or both.

For carrying on a business to provide any type of payment service in Singapore without a licence, an offender can be fined up to SGD125,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.

The police reminded members of the public to reject requests by others to use their bank accounts or mobile phone lines, to avoid being an accomplice to crimes.

Despite numerous media reports and warnings by the authorities about scams, the number hit a record high of 46,563 reported cases in 2023, with victims losing SGD651.8 million.

The 2023 figure is an increase from the 31,728 reported cases in 2022, according to figures released in February by the police.

PHOTO: ENVATO
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