Billion-dollar bust: Singapore Police arrest 10 foreigners; seize stacks of cash, luxury goods, and property in money laundering investigation

One of the biggest anti-money laundering operations in Singapore has seen the arrest of 10 foreigners this week and the seizure (or freezing) of a large amount of valuable assets — from cash and luxury goods to residential properties — totalling about SGD1 billion.

Some of the cash seized during the raids. Photo courtesy: Singapore Police Force

According to reports published last night, Singapore Police Force (SPF) conducted simultaneous raids across the city-state; the locations included Good Class Bungalows and condominiums. Photos of some of the items seized have been released by the police.

Luxury cars seized in the raids. Photo courtesy: Singapore Police Force

The 10 arrested foreigners, aged 31-44 years, were charged in court last night. A CNA report said that these 10 people — nine men and one woman — were of the following nationalities: Cypriot, Turkish, Chinese, Cambodian, and Ni-Vanuatu. The report added, based on Singapore Police information released to the media, that 12 individuals involved in the money laundering racket were co-operating with the investigation, while the hunt was on for eight others.

High-end watches used for money laundering. Photo courtesy: Singapore Police Force

“These persons are believed to have connections among themselves. All the persons involved are neither Singapore citizens nor permanent residents,” said SPF.

Designer goods used for money laundering. Photo courtesy: Singapore Police Force

The police investigations that led to these arrests and seizure began with looking into suspected forged documents use for transactions in Singapore bank accounts. After tracking the transactions and analysing them, SPF identified several foreigners living in Singapore who were suspected to be involved in money laundering for overseas criminal rings.

Simultaneous raids carried out on Tuesday involved more than 400 officers from the Commercial Affairs Department, the Criminal Investigation Department, Special Operations Command, and the Police Intelligence Department.

MAS is taking action

In a media release following these raids and arrests, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that it had worked closely with the Commercial Affairs Department to facilitate the investigations that led to the Singapore Police arrests.

“MAS takes this case seriously and has been in touch with financial institutions [in Singapore] where the potentially tainted funds have been identified. Supervisory engagements with these FIs are ongoing. MAS will take firm action against FIs which are found to have breached MAS’ stringent requirements on anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism, or to have inadequate controls against money laundering/terrorism financing risks,” said the release.

CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

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