Selangor Journal
A view of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s headquarters in Singapore, on June 28, 2017. – Picture by REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

S’pore to bolster defence against money laundering, terrorist financing

SINGAPOE, Aug 17 — As a global financial hub, Singapore remains vulnerable to transnational money laundering/ terrorism financing (ML/TF) risks, according to Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) deputy managing director (Financial Supervision), Ho Hern Shin.

Thus, MAS and financial institutions need to continue to work together to strengthen the country’s defences against these risks, said Ho in a statement late Wednesday.

MAS, the central bank, issued the statement following the recent seizure of about S$1 billion (RM3.4 billion) of assets, including properties, vehicles, luxury goods, jewelleries, and gold bars.

“This case has highlighted that vigilance and prompt filing of suspicious transaction reports by our financial institutions have helped law enforcement authorities to identify those suspected of carrying out illicit activities.”

In a separate statement, Singapore Police Force said on Aug 15, more than 400 officers from the Commercial Affairs Department, the Criminal Investigation Department, Special Operations Command, and the Police Intelligence Department conducted simultaneous raids at multiple locations island-wide.

The raids have led to the arrest of 10 persons, aged between 31 and 44, for their suspected involvement in offences of forgery and/ or, money laundering, and resistance to lawful apprehension.

SPF said prohibition of disposal orders were issued against 94 properties and 50 vehicles, with a total estimated value of more than S$815 million, as well as multiple ornaments and bottles of liquor and wine.

The police also seized more than 35 related bank accounts with a total estimated balance of more than S$110 million for investigations and to prevent dissipation of suspected criminal proceeds.

Cash, including foreign currencies, amounting to more than S$23 million, more than 250 luxury bags and watches, more than 120 electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones, more than 270 pieces of jewelleries, two gold bars, and 11 documents with information on virtual assets.

Those 10 arrested are of Cypriot, Turkish, Chinese, Cambodian, and Ni-Vanuatu nationalities.

According to SPF, 12 other persons are assisting with investigations, and eight other persons are currently wanted by the police.

These persons are believed to have connections among themselves, it said.

“Police investigations are ongoing. More assets may be seized, bank accounts frozen, or prohibition of disposal orders issued, in the course of investigation,” said the Singapore police.

— Bernama

Top Picks

MOHR says Malaysian foreign labour market not affected by Bangladesh riots

10-year passports being fine-tuned before release — KDN

Anwar says govt will bring Malaysians in Bangladesh home