HomeBusinessSingapore's reputation on line as $2B money laundering case expands

Singapore’s reputation on line as $2B money laundering case expands


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Singapore on Tuesday defended its standing as a world monetary middle following an enormous cash laundering case crossing $2 billion in seized and frozen property, with a senior minister claiming it was probably among the many world’s greatest.

The scale of the investigation has uncovered potential loopholes within the city-state’s anti-money laundering legal guidelines that crime syndicates may exploit, prompting questions in parliament on why it was not detected sooner.

“This case is a reminder that even the most stringent preventive measures can be circumvented by determined criminals,” Second Home Affairs Minister Josephine Teo mentioned in a speech to lawmakers in parliament.

Authorities have seized and frozen property now value greater than 2.8 billion Singapore {dollars} ($2.04 billion) in a collection of raids since August towards the suspected worldwide cash laundering ring, mentioned Teo.

Police arrested 10 overseas nationals – from China, Türkiye, Cambodia, the Greek Cypriot administration and Vanuatu – accused of being members of the ring suspected of laundering proceeds from abroad felony exercise, together with scams and on-line playing.

All 10 are initially from China.

More arrests and asset seizures are anticipated as police proceed with their investigation, Teo mentioned.

Last month, Singaporean police mentioned they’d seized and frozen greater than $1.76 billion value of property in sweeping raids, however these have since grown by a whole bunch of tens of millions.

Teo mentioned the most recent trove included 152 properties, 62 autos, 1000’s of bottles of liquor and wine, money, cryptocurrencies, gold bars, luxurious baggage and watches, and costly items of bijou.

Police first acquired “disparate information” about suspicious transactions in 2021, together with using suspected cast paperwork to help sources of funds, and commenced conducting raids after they’d collected rather more proof, she mentioned.

It was one of many greatest anti-money laundering instances in Singapore and “likely the world,” Teo instructed MPs.

An common of 43,000 suspicious transactions had been reported yearly in Singapore between 2020 and 2022, or greater than 150 per working day, she mentioned.

Reports that China had put any stress on Singapore to resolve the case had been “completely untrue,” she added.

Second Minister of Finance Indranee Rajah mentioned an interministerial committee could be fashioned “to keep our regime up to date with increasingly sophisticated crimes.”

Alvin Tan, a minister of state for commerce, mentioned a few of the accused could have been linked to household places of work – entities that handle the controlling property of 1 household – that had been granted tax incentives.

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