Police probing 4 men who allegedly sought donations for 'ex-convicts', but had no licence

The men asked for donations and also asked people to purchase mobile phone accessories, claiming that they represented an organisation.
The men asked for donations and also asked people to purchase mobile phone accessories, claiming that they represented an organisation.PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Four young men are being investigated by the police for allegedly collecting donations without a licence.

They asked for donations and also asked people to purchase mobile phone accessories, claiming that they represented an organisation.

They claimed that the donations and proceeds of the sales would go to the underprivileged and ex-convicts, the police said on Saturday (April 7).

The men, aged between 18 and 24, allegedly approached members of the public in a few areas, including near the School of the Arts (Sota) in Dhoby Ghaut.

Lianhe Wanbao on Saturday published a photo of a flyer made by Sota students, warning others about the scam.

The flyer read: "Attention Sota students! Some scammers have been cheating our peers out of their money, up to 30 bucks! These guys will approach you and tell you to donate 10 dollars around the Cathay area!"

It advised the students to avoid the alleged scammers.

The police received several reports about these cases between March 2 and March 19. Officers from the Tanglin Police Division identified the suspects, who are currently assisting with investigations.

They did not have a licence to solicit for donations or to collect funds, and they are believed to be involved in a series of similar cases, preliminary investigations revealed.

Anyone convicted of the offence of House to House and Street Collections Without Licence under the House to House Street Collections Act may be jailed up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000.

The police advised the public to check the validity of the licence for fund-raising activities via the following portals to avoid falling prey to unlicensed fund-raising activities:

1. National Council of Social Service (NCSS) Fund Raising Permit Search engine at https://www.ncss.gov.sg/Fund-Raising- Permits.aspx ;

2. Charity Portal's Fund Raising Permit Search engine at http://www.charities.gov.sg/Pages/Home/aspx ; or

3. SMS query to 79777 using the format "FR(space)licence/certificate number or organisation name>"