Police round up 20 for $200k of scams

The police said that the 20 people, aged between 17 and 57, were involved in 51 cases.
The police said that the 20 people, aged between 17 and 57, were involved in 51 cases.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

The police have hauled up 16 men and four women to assist in investigations for their suspected involvement in e-commerce scams and offences related to commercial crimes.

They said yesterday the 20 people, aged between 17 and 57, were believed to be involved in 51 cases.

The victims in these scams lost a total of $200,846.

Five of the suspects are believed to have carried out online scams advertising the sale of motorcycle parts and K-pop merchandise, as well as investment scams in which victims responded to online advertisements promising quick returns.

Another 11 suspects are believed to have allowed their bank accounts to be used by criminals to facilitate scams, including those that involved advertising the sale of Universal Studios Singapore tickets, concert tickets and mobile phones on online retail platform Carousell.

The remaining four are believed to be involved in separate cases of cheating and criminal breach of trust.

Officers from the Jurong Police Division rounded up the suspects in a four-day operation that started on Tuesday.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Devrajan Bala, the division's commander, commended his officers on their determination in pursuing leads and in catching the suspects.

He added that the police took a serious view of people involved in scams and frauds, and they would not let up in efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

In their statement, the police said 17 suspects are being investigated for cheating under the Penal Code, or for money laundering under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act.

If convicted of cheating, they could be jailed for up to 10 years with a fine. If they are found guilty of money laundering, they could each be jailed for up to 10 years, fined up to $500,000, or both.

The remaining three suspects are being investigated for the offence of criminal breach of trust as a servant.

They could be jailed for up to 15 years and fined if convicted.

The police advised the public not to share personal information such as identification or bank account numbers, and to buy goods only from authorised dealers.

To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, the public should always reject requests from others to use their bank accounts or cellphone lines as they could be held accountable if these accounts are linked to illegal transactions, the police added.

More information on scams can be found at scamalert.sg or from the police's anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.

Anyone with information on scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2018, with the headline 'Police round up 20 for $200k of scams'. Print Edition | Subscribe