The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has remained vigilant to combat rising cryptocurrency scams in the country, said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of MAS in a parliamentary reply.
He added that MAS regularly conducts surveillance to identify unlicensed firms that illegally provide digital payment tokens (DPT) services or solicit customers in Singapore.
Once identified, MAS will instruct these entities to stop offering services to Singapore residents and refer them to the Police for investigation.
The regulator may also place them on its Investor Alert List to warn the public that these entities are not supervised by MAS.
MAS’ regulation under the PS Act focuses on money laundering as well as terrorism financing risks and technology risks.
It administers a rigorous licensing process to ensure that it admits DPT service providers with strong governance structures and robust controls to address these risks.
According to Tharman, many applicants have been turned away especially if MAS has reason to suspect that an applicant is involved in illicit activities.
Besides rejecting the application, MAS will also refer the matter to the Police for investigation.
“MAS also works closely with the Police to combat cryptocurrency scams. MAS and the Police have issued public advisories alerting consumers to guard against fraudulent websites soliciting cryptocurrency investments.
When dealing with cryptocurrency firms, consumers should check if the entities are licensed or have been granted an exemption to hold a licence by referring to MAS’ website.”