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Singapore’s worst money laundering case: SGD2.4b frozen

SINGAPORE (ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES) – Cash amounting to over SGD76 million, as well as 68 gold bars, 294 luxury bags, 164 luxury watches, 546 pieces of jewellery, were among the assets seized in Singapore’s worst money laundering case.

In an update on Wednesday, the police said they conducted more operations, after 10 foreign nationals were arrested in August for their alleged involvement in laundering the proceeds of their overseas organised crime activities.

These included scams and online gambling activities.

The police said that during these operations, additional assets were seized and issued with prohibition of disposal orders.

The police seized bank accounts with a total estimated value of more than SGD1.127 billion.

Cash, including foreign currencies, amounting to over SGD76 million was also seized.

Other confiscated items include 68 gold bars, 294 luxury bags, 164 luxury watches, 546 pieces of jewellery, cryptocurrencies worth more than SGD38 million, and 204 electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones.

Prohibition of disposal orders were also issued against more than 110 properties and 62 vehicles worth more than SGD1.242 billion, as well as bottles of liquor, wine and multiple ornaments.

The orders mean the accused cannot sell these items.

On August 15, the police conducted a massive islandwide blitz involving over 400 officers led by the Commercial Affairs Department, simultaneously hitting several good class bungalows and high-end condominiums across Singapore.

Nine men and one woman were arrested and charged the next day with various offences including money laundering, forgery and resisting arrest. Aged 31 to 44, they were originally from China and are now of various nationalities.

Since their arrests, they have appeared in court via video link several times.

The prosecution has argued against bail for the 10, citing a risk of contamination of evidence and collusion among them.

The Straits Times reported on August 28 that investigators were also looking at 24 people linked to the accused, with the police digging into assets they own and businesses they are involved in.

The Ministry of Law sent a notice on August 27 to dealers of precious metals and stones to check against their records for possible suspicious transactions by these 24 individuals.

In a subsequent hearing in court, the prosecution revealed the suspects included wives and relatives of the 10 accused.

The police said on Wednesday they conducted more operations after 10 foreign nationals had been arrested for their alleged involvement in the money laundering probe. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES SOURCE

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