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57 reports of abuse, fraudulent application of Covid-19 grants, payouts received by police: Shanmugam

57 reports of abuse, fraudulent application of Covid-19 grants, payouts received by police: Shanmugam

The authorities have received 57 reports involving the abuse or fraudulent application of Covid-19 government grants and payouts between March 2020 and December last year. Of these cases, investigations into 17 of them have since concluded, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said on Tuesday (Jan 11).

“To date, 42 persons have been arrested for their alleged roles in Covid-19 grant fraud. Eight of them have been convicted of cheating or forgery offences,” he added.

For the remaining 40 cases, investigations are still ongoing or they are pending the Attorney-General's Chambers’ advice or completion of court proceedings, Mr Shanmugam wrote in reply to a parliamentary question.

Mr Murali Pillai, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bukit Batok, had asked about the number of cases involving the abuse, misuse or fraudulent application of all Covid-19 government grants and payouts. 

The MP also asked how much has been recovered, as well as whether the Ministry of Home Affairs will provide a dedicated whistleblower channel to uncover more of such cases and set up a separate agency to investigate them.

In his reply, Mr Shanmugam said that the reports received by the police involving government funds amounted to about S$1.7 million.

“Not all S$1.7 million had been disbursed. The amount disbursed was lower as the agencies had managed to detect the fraud early.”

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