12 arrested for money laundering activities related to scam cases involving more than $2 million

Twelve people were arrested during an island-wide enforcement operation conducted from 13 to 15 July against money laundering activities, said police.

During the three-day operation, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) arrested 11 men and one woman, aged between 17 and 30 years old, for their suspected involvement in scam cases involving more than $2 million. Another 11 men and three women, aged between 17 and 67, are also assisting with the investigation.

They were alleged to have handed over their personal bank accounts to scammers or relinquished their Singpass accounts which were then used by the scammers to open bank accounts.

Investigations are ongoing into the offences of facilitating unauthorised access to computer material as well as cheating.

The offence of facilitating unauthorised access to computer material carries an imprisonment term of up to two years, or fine, or both. The offence of unauthorised disclosure of access code for any wrongful gain or unlawful purpose carries an imprisonment term of up to three years, or fine, or both. The offence of cheating is punishable with imprisonment of up to three years and fine.

In the context of scams, money mules are typically those who facilitate the dissipation of criminal benefits by receiving and transferring proceeds of scam through their bank accounts, or by relinquishing their bank accounts to scammers for such purposes. Money mules play a key role in the way scams are perpetrated as scammers rely on these bank accounts as conduits for their ill-gotten gains, said police.

To avoid becoming involved in money laundering activities, members of the public should always reject requests for their personal bank accounts to be used by others.

The police would also like to caution members of the public against relinquishing their Singpass accounts to others, as scammers are able to use these Singpass accounts to access a whole suite of digital facilities, including opening bank accounts.