property personalised
Total value of assets seized in money laundering case now more than $2.8 billion
By Nicole Lim | October 3, 2023

This is the latest figure, revealed by minister Josephine Teo at a parliamentary sitting on Oct 3. Photo: Singapore Police Force

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The total value of assets seized in Singapore’s largest money laundering case now stand at more than $2.8 billion, says Josephine Teo, Singapore’s second minister for home affairs. Teo revealed the figure in Parliament on Oct 3.

These include 152 properties and 62 vehicles with a total estimated value of more than $1.24 billion; monies in bank accounts amounting to more than $1.45 billion; cash of more than $76 million; and cryptocurrencies of more than $38 million.

The amount is now almost triple the initial figure at $1 billion when the case first broke in mid-August. The police have also seized thousands of bottles of liquor and wine, 68 gold bars, 294 luxury bags, 164 luxury watches and 546 pieces of jewellery.

Teo said Singapore’s anti-money laundering enforcement agents first picked up signals of a case in 2021. In early 2022, the police launched an intelligence probe. Work was kept to a “very small group” of officers, and any enforcement or overt investigative actions were held off to avoid alerting the suspects.

The 10 suspects have been arrested and denied bail, with investigations ongoing

Speaking in parliament on Oct 3, Second Minister for Finance and National Development Indranee Rajah says a new inter-ministerial committee will be set up to review and strengthen Singapore's anti-money laundering regime. Rajah will chair the committee, which will also comprise office holders from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Law, Ministry of Manpower, and Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The committee will focus on four areas: how to prevent corporate structures from being abused by money launderers; how financial institutions can enhance their controls and collaborate more effectively to guard against and flag suspicious transactions; how other players in the system, such as corporate service providers, real estate agents, and precious stones and metals dealers, can help to guard against money laundering risks; and how to centralise and strengthen capabilities across government agencies to better detect suspicious activity.

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