13-year-old among 457 people probed for links to scam cases involving over $11.5m

SINGAPORE - A 13-year-old was among 316 men and 141 women hauled in by the police as suspected scammers and money mules linked to more than 1,500 cases of scams that saw victims lose over $11.5 million.

The oldest among the 457 being investigated is a 73-year-old.

The suspects are being investigated for their roles in Internet love scams, e-commerce scams, phishing scams, China officials impersonation scams, investment scams, job scams, tech support scams and loan scams.

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

The police added that officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and across all seven police land divisions had conducted the two-week-long operation between March 11 and March 28.

If found guilty of cheating, a person can receive a jail term of up to 10 years or a fine.

Those found guilty of money laundering can be sentenced up to 10 years' jail, be fined up to $500,000, or both.

For providing unlicensed payment services, a person can be jailed for up to three years, receive a fine of up to $125,000, or both.

The police said they take a serious stance against any person who may be involved in scams, adding that 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 their bank accounts or mobile lines as they will be held accountable if these are linked to crimes," added the police.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit the Scam Alert website or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688.

Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at this website.

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