22 arrested over scams, commercial crimes

Police have arrested 22 people over 45 scam and commercial crime-related offences involving more than $200,000.

Twelve men and 10 women, aged between 17 and 68, were taken in for their suspected involvement in e-commerce scams and commercial crime-related offences.

It followed a four-day operation by officers from Jurong Police Division that started on Monday. The total amount involved in the cases is $214,308.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Julius Lim, the division's commander, said: "The police take a serious view against persons involved in scams and frauds, and will not let up in our efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice."

Police said that 15 of the suspects are believed to have allowed their bank accounts to be used by criminals to facilitate scams. These include scams advertising the sale of electronic products and tickets to concerts and attractions on online retail site Carousell.

They are being investigated for cheating or money laundering, both carrying a jail term up to 10 years with a fine. For money laundering, the fine can be up to $500,000.

The other seven suspects are being investigated for forgery for the purpose of cheating or criminal breach of trust as a servant. Cheating carries a 10-year maximum jail term with a fine, while offenders found guilty of criminal breach of trust as a servant can be jailed for up to 15 years and also fined.

 
 

In its statement, the police advised members of the public to be wary of online advertising featuring cheap deals that sound too good to be true, and to avoid making payments or deposits in advance.

"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 accounts are linked to illegal transactions," the police added.

People with information related to scams can alert the police on 1800-255-0000 or www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 16, 2018, with the headline '22 arrested over scams, commercial crimes'. Print Edition | Subscribe