SINGAPORE - A hundred and one people are being investigated for their involvement in 314 scams involving more than $1.2 million, the police said in a statement on Friday (Dec 8).
The suspects - 48 men and 53 women - were rounded up after a three-day islandwide operation between Tuesday (Dec 5) and Thursday.
The youngest of them was 16, while the oldest was 74. They are being investigated either for the offence of cheating or the offence of money laundering.
Anyone found guilty of cheating can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined, while anyone found guilty of money laundering can be jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined up to $500,000.
The police observed that they have seen a rise in people offering their ATM cards, ATM PINs and bank accounts for another person to use.
In such cases, many claimed that they were instructed by someone else, whom they have a romantic relationship with, to do so.
One of the reasons they were asked to hand over their ATM cards was for "business operations in neighbouring countries".
However, police investigations found these "online lovers" to be criminals based outside Singapore.
They were using bank accounts to receive money from various scams targeted at Singaporeans, before using ATM cards to withdraw criminal proceeds outside Singapore.
The police warned the public that bank account holders are accountable for any transaction made under their accounts.
If their accounts are found to have been used for criminal proceeds, bank account holders are liable for money laundering offences.
Each bank account holder will be investigated and their bank accounts will be frozen for investigations.