Police investigating 4 youths who allegedly sought donations for 'ex-convicts' without licence

Four men aged between 18 and 24 are being investigated by the police for allegedly collecting donations without a licence.

Reportedly claiming to be from an organisation, they requested for donations and asked members of the public to buy mobile phone accessories.

They also claimed that the donations and proceeds of the sales would go to the underprivileged and ex-convicts, said the police in a news release.

According to Lianhe Wanbao, the men had approached people in a few areas, including near the School of the Arts (Sota) in Dhoby Ghaut, where they reportedly asked students to donate "at least $10".

Wanbao said that the men also took money from students' wallet and followed them to withdraw cash.

A flyer, apparently made by Sota students, warned of the alleged scam and was published by the paper:

After receiving several reports about these cases between March 2 and March 19, officers from Tanglin Police Division established the suspects' identities through follow-up enquiries.

The men are currently assisting with police investigations.

"Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects did not have a license to solicit for donations or to collect funds and are believed to be involved in series of similar cases," added the police.

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.

Members of the public are advised to check the validity of the license for fund raising activities via the following portals to avoid falling victim 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><license/certificate number or organization name>”