Singapore

Three-day raid nets 55 people

150 online scams involving $230k

More than 50 people are assisting in police investigations involving some 150 online scams with transactions of more than $230,000, following a three-day operation that began on Monday.

The 27 men and 28 women are aged between 17 and 72, the police said yesterday.

Most of the suspects are believed to have posed as online sellers and did not deliver the products to their buyers after receiving payment.

The products include entrance tickets to local attractions, vouchers, mobile phones and hotel room bookings.

Others are believed to have acted as money mules who received and transferred illegal funds on behalf of criminal syndicates.

The suspects are being investigated for the offence of cheating, which carries a punishment of imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine, or for money laundering.

If they are found guilty of the latter, under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, they can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $500,000.

The police take a serious view against any person involved in scams, whether knowingly or unknowingly, the statement yesterday said.

Anyone found to be involved in such scams will be subject to police investigations.

The police said they are also working closely with banks and will freeze any bank accounts, found to be used to receive money from illegal sources, for investigation purposes.

The suspects will not be able to utilise their bank accounts for any transactions while the investigations are on.

According to the police, the number of cheating cases involving e-commerce has increased from 1,665 cases in 2014, to 2,173 cases in 2015.

The police also said that three out of four of the e-commerce-related reports lodged last year were made by persons using online community marketplaces.

scaminternetcrime