Singapore Police seize S$1 billion in assets amid massive money laundering and forgery probe

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force (SPF) announced a significant crackdown on money laundering and forgery activities, resulting in the seizure of assets amounting to roughly S$1 billion (US$736 million). This substantial haul includes properties, vehicles, luxury items, gold bars, and more.

On Wednesday (16 Aug), in a news release, the police disclosed that ten individuals, aged between 31 and 44, were taken into custody.

They face charges related to the alleged crimes and for resisting arrest. These individuals are of diverse nationalities, including Cypriot, Turkish, Chinese, Cambodian, and Ni-Vanuatu.

Furthermore, twelve others are assisting with the ongoing investigations. An additional eight persons remain on the police’s wanted list. “These persons are believed to have connections among themselves. All the persons involved are neither Singapore citizens nor permanent residents,” the police added.

The SPF began its probe after receiving information about potential illegal activities. These activities encompassed the utilization of presumably forged documents to verify the origin of funds in Singapore bank accounts.

The police’s exhaustive investigations, bolstered by intelligence and the examination of suspicious transaction reports, identified a group of foreign nationals.

This group is suspected of laundering money, the proceeds from their overseas organized crime activities. These illicit activities range from scams to online gambling.

Tuesday saw an enormous mobilization of police resources, with over 400 officers conducting simultaneous raids across the island.

The teams were comprised of members from the Commercial Affairs Department, the Criminal Investigation Department, Special Operations Command, and the Police Intelligence Department.

The targeted locations included high-end residences such as Good Class Bungalows (GCB) and condominiums. As a result of these raids, nine men and one woman were apprehended.

The police further reported issuing prohibition orders against assets, including 94 properties and 50 vehicles valued at over S$815 million.

Additionally, other seized items comprise more than S$110 million across 35 bank accounts, over S$23 million in cash, luxury goods, electronic devices, jewelry pieces, two gold bars, and 11 documents related to virtual assets.

Notable incidents during the arrest include:
  • A 40-year-old Cypriot national tried to evade arrest by jumping from the second floor of his Good Class Bungalow, resulting in injuries. He’s now facing charges of resisting lawful apprehension.
  • Two PRC nationals, a male and a female, were arrested at their Sentosa Cove bungalow, with assets valued at over S$106 million confiscated from them.
  • A Cambodian national was apprehended with assets including 75 pieces of jewelry and a total value of more than S$76 million.

The accused, ten in total, are expected to face charges in court today.

Police case notes also revealed that several among them lived in prestigious locations like Good Class Bungalows along Holland Road and Nassim Road, as well as in Sentosa Cove.

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