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Deutsche Bank identified as creditor to alleged Fujian money launderers’ firm in Singapore

Two directors of Golden Eagle Assets, Zhang Ruijin and Lin Baoying, were among the ten individuals arrested last week in Singapore for their alleged involvement in a S$1 billion money laundering scheme.

Deutsche Bank, which is a creditor to Golden Eagle Assets, has since secured a charge against the company.

The Chinese duo is accused of trying to cheat Malaysia’s CIMB Bank about their ownership and sale of a property in Macau.



SINGAPORE – Deutsche Bank holds a charge against Singapore’s Golden Eagle Assets, whose directors were arrested for alleged money laundering and forgery.

The bank’s facility is secured against the investment holding company’s assets, but Golden Eagle Assets itself has not been named in the latest criminal investigation.

The bank is a creditor to Golden Eagle Assets and has a charge that was registered on 22 May against the company.

The firm’s directors Zhang Ruijin and Lin Baoying, and eight others, were indicted in a Singapore court last week for money laundering and forgery involving assets worth over SG$1 billion (US$737 million).

Reportedly, Deutsche Bank’s facility to Golden Eagle Assets is secured against “all monies” at the investment holding company, according to corporate filings reviewed by Bloomberg News, which didn’t specify the facility’s size.

“It is Deutsche Bank’s general practice to fully cooperate with authorities,” a spokesperson for the German lender said in response to queries from Bloomberg News, declining to comment on specific cases. The spokesperson added that the bank has “zero tolerance for its global network being misused for financial crime.”

Deutsche Bank is the latest lender to be embroiled in the scandal that raises questions about guardrails against illicit money flowing into the financial hub.

The Chinese duo was charged with trying to cheat Malaysia’s CIMB Bank about their ownership and sale of a property in Macau.

Citigroup’s Singapore subsidiary allegedly received fake documents from other suspects.

The police declined to comment as investigations are ongoing.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had earlier said suspicious fund flows and other inconsistencies prompted unnamed banks to file suspicious transaction reports.

The information prompted a probe which led to the arrests. The financial regulator also separately said it was assessing whether financial firms had taken all reasonable steps to mitigate against money laundering and terror financing risks, according to The Straits Times.

Golden Eagle Assets was incorporated in the city-state in Oct 2019, according to the business filing.

Lin listed a unit in Fuzhou, the capital of China’s Fujian province as her residence, while Zhang listed a Pearl Island property on Singapore’s southern Sentosa island as his.

Lin and Zhang were arrested at a luxury bungalow in Sentosa, a popular leisure area for locals and home to many ultra-rich foreigners.

The couple is in remand and didn’t enter pleas during the initial court hearing. Zhang is due back in court on Wednesday (23 Aug).

On Tuesday (15 Aug), Singaporean authorities apprehended ten individuals and confiscated assets, including properties and luxury cars, with an estimated value of approximately SG$1 billion.

These actions were carried out as part of a comprehensive investigation into an alleged money laundering syndicate.

The ten detainees, hailing from diverse nationalities but sharing a common Fujian heritage, were taken into custody and subsequently charged in court on Wednesday evening.

Their charges include a range of offences, including forgery, money laundering, and resisting arrest.

Among them, there is a wide range of nationalities represented, including Cypriot, Turkish, Chinese, Cambodian, and Ni-Vanuatu.

Additionally, twelve individuals are aiding with current investigations, and eight are on the police’s wanted list.

On Friday, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) disclosed that the 10 foreigners, consisting of nine men and one woman aged between 31 and 44, held Employment and Dependant Passes.

This high-profile money laundering case has reverberated across the entire island, sparking inquiries into the extended periods of residence for some suspects within Singapore.

Additionally, the significant property acquisitions made by certain individuals in the city-state have garnered substantial media attention, prompting public discussion and scrutiny.

According to Singaporean Chinese media outlet Lianhe Zaobao, an insider source has disclosed that a group allegedly involved in the money laundering case, known as the “Fujian Gang,” could potentially consist of hundreds of members.

An undisclosed real estate agent interviewed by “Lianhe Zaobao” stated, “The individuals implicated in this case are all hailing from China’s Fujian province.”

High-profile property acquisitions, with aggressive bargaining on the price

The agent further highlighted, “The ‘Fujian Gang’ has made substantial acquisitions of upscale residences in locales like Sentosa Cove and the Orchard Road vicinity.”

“Despite their wealth, they haggle over prices, sometimes engaging different brokers to see who can offer the highest discount.”

Another real estate agent shared with Zaobao that members of the Fujian Gang often exhibit limited formal education yet possess astute “street-smart traits.”

Additionally, they are known for their assertive bargaining, occasionally managing discounts ranging from 20% to 30%. Some brokers undertake their transactions for reputational gain and modest profits.

However, more seasoned brokers would opt to avoid involvement to prevent complications.

In recent years, numerous high-profile private property transactions and lease agreements have garnered local attention.

It’s understood that many of these involve the Fujian Gang.

Illustrative instances encompass a Chinese purchaser who procured 20 units at Canninghill Piers for S$85 million in June of the prior year, alongside another individual who leased a premium foreigner’s residence at Queen Astrid Park for S$200,000 monthly.

In 2021, a beachfront house and two adjacent houses in Sentosa Cove were sold for S$39.33 million and S$36.37 million, respectively, with the buyers being Su Baolin and Su Haijin, who have since been arrested.

In general, aside from beachfront houses in Sentosa Cove, foreigners are not permitted to purchase premium houses or landed properties.

Chinese buyers dominated the market for non-landed luxury homes in the first half of the year

It is worth noting that real estate implicated in these high-profile cases will be confiscated by the government and auctioned off after the legal proceedings conclude.

Furthermore, real estate agents who fail to disclose suspicious transactions to buyers during property sales could potentially be in violation of the law.

Around 60 real estate agents who were involved in selling properties to the suspects are expected to be requested to assist in the investigation, Zaobao reported.

During the first half of the year, non-landed luxury homes and overall non-landed private homes were most popular among Chinese buyers.

Based on a recent research report by Edmund Tie, the average transaction price for non-landed luxury homes in the first half of the year stood at S$16.9 million, reflecting a 9.6% increase from the second half of the previous year.

This rise can be attributed mainly to the escalating demand for luxury homes among high-net-worth individuals and affluent new immigrants.

However, the situation differs slightly for landed private homes, where the average price experienced a decline of 4.6% to S$20.5 million, compared to a 10.9% increase in the second half of the previous year.

The three most expensive transactions for landed private homes encompassed three premium bungalows on Nassim Road, amounting to a total of S$206.7 million, with a per-square-foot price of S$4,500. The buyers were an Indonesian family.

Notably, Chinese buyers were the largest demographic purchasing non-landed luxury homes during the first half of this year.

Furthermore, they also accounted for the greatest demand for overall non-landed private homes.

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Got many Ang Moh also washing money la. But No Info.