SINGAPORE: A total of 362 people are being investigated for their alleged involvement as scammers or money mules in scams which led to victims losing more than S$11.1mil (RM35.63mil), the police said on Friday (Aug 5).
Comprising 249 men and 113 women, the 362 are believed to be involved in more than 1,050 scams, including Internet love, government and China officials impersonation and ecommerce cases.
The youngest of those being investigated is 16 while the oldest is 82.
The police’s Commercial Affairs Department and seven land divisions conducted a two-week islandwide operation between July 22 and Aug 4.
“The suspects are being investigated for the alleged offences of cheating, money laundering or providing payment services without a licence,” said the police.
Cheating carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years and a fine, while money laundering carries a jail term not exceeding 10 years, a fine of up to S$500,000 (RM1.61mil), or both.
Those found guilty of providing payment services without a licence face a maximum fine of S$125,000 (RM404,911), a jail term of up to three years, or both.
To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, 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.
Last year, victims of all types of scams here lost at least S$633mil (RM2.05bil) – more than twice the S$268.4mil (RM869.42mil) lost in 2020.
Last week, the police said 93 victims lost at least S$56.2mil (RM182.04mil) to business email scams in the first three months of this year. – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network