SINGAPORE - More than 330 people are being investigated for their alleged involvement in scams where victims purportedly lost more than $4 million, the police said in a statement on Saturday (Dec 19).
This follows a two-week islandwide enforcement operation conducted between Dec 5 and Dec 19 by officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and the seven police land divisions.
The 221 men and 115 women, aged between 15 and 76, are accused of being involved in 641 scams. These comprised mainly Internet love, e-commerce and investment scams, as well as fake gambling platform and loan scams.
The police are investigating the individuals for the offence of cheating or money laundering.
Those found guilty of cheating under section 420 of the Penal Code can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.
Individuals convicted of money laundering under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act can be imprisoned for not more than 10 years and a fine of up to $500,000.
The police said that it takes a serious view against anyone involved in scams.
"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 are linked to illegal transactions," it added.
More people were tricked by scammers in the first eight months of this year, with the 10,402 scam cases reported involving $157 million.
These figures were around double of those last year, when 5,229 victims lost a total of $92 million in the same time period.
The updated figures were shared by Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan in Parliament on Oct 6 in response to a question about the scam situation here.
He said that the police have ramped up efforts to fight the growing number of scams, such as through increased collaboration with foreign law enforcement agencies and setting up specialised units in the police force to combat scams.