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K Shanmugam dismisses connection between S$1.8 billion money laundering probe and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit

Singapore’s Minister of Home Affairs and Law, K Shanmugam, categorically dismissed any linkage between the arrest of ten suspects in a S$1.8 billion money laundering case on 15 August and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Singapore on 10 August.

He stressed that investigations were initiated based on legitimate concerns within Singapore, free from external influence or pressure.

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SINGAPORE: K Shanmugam, Singapore’s Minister of Home Affairs and Law, unequivocally refuted any suggestion of a connection between the arrest of the ten suspects in the S$1.8 billion money laundering case and the visit by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on 10 August.

He firmly asserted that there was no discernible link between these two events.

“We started the investigations because we had reason to believe that these people had committed offences in Singapore.”

“We didn’t start the investigations at the request of some foreign country or party or because of external pressure.”

Singapore, he stressed, does not bow to pressure from any nation.

These remarks were made during an exclusive interview published in the Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao on Sunday (10 Sept).

“Just because a country says arrest so-and-so doesn’t mean we go and arrest. It’s got to be illegal in Singapore. ”

“We need to be satisfied and we need to know that things have happened which are contrary to our laws, then we will take action – regardless of what others say,” he said.

Furthermore, Shanmugam highlighted that the investigation had been ongoing for several months. The police meticulously traced illegal activities both within Singapore and overseas, identifying individuals involved and scrutinizing the flow of funds.

The investigation was triggered by suspicious transaction reports submitted by financial institutions and other intelligence sources.

Shanmugam emphasized that such complex investigations couldn’t possibly be concluded within a matter of days or weeks. He stated that those familiar with this type of work would understand the time and effort required.

On 15 August, Singapore authorities launched what is believed to be the most extensive operation against money laundering in the country’s history.

During this operation, ten individuals, consisting of nine men and one woman aged between 31 and 44, were apprehended in an islandwide raid. Despite their different nationalities, these individuals share a common origin in Fujian.

Over $1.8 billion in assets were seized, leading to questions about how these individuals had managed to accumulate such wealth.

POFMA Office issued Correction Direction to Kenneth Jeyaretnam on 22 August

On 22 August, Mr Jeyaretnam, the Reform Party Secretary-General, received a Correction Direction (CD) order from The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office.

Mr Jeyaretnam in a Facebook post on 18 August alleged the arrest of 10 foreign nationals in relation to forgery and money laundering, was a result of pressures from China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi.

In response, the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and POFMA office have clarified that the arrest of the 10 foreign nationals was not influenced by any foreign entity.

Their arrests followed rigorous investigation efforts, as claimed in a Police News Release on 16 August 2023.

Shanmugam: Singapore to honour extradition treaty requests from partner nations

Regarding the handling of the seized assets, Mr Shanmugam informed Zaobao that, at present, these assets are held in police custody in accordance with established legal procedures.

If the ten individuals are proven guilty, and the assets are linked to criminal activities, their disposition will be subject to the decisions of the courts.

Concerning the fate of the ten foreigners following their conviction and sentencing, Mr Shanmugam clarified that they would serve their sentences, and in cases involving custodial sentences, individuals may subsequently be deported based on their passport permissions.

However, he added that if a country with an extradition treaty with Singapore requests their extradition, Singaporean authorities will adhere to the terms of the agreement.

Mr Shanmugam acknowledges criminals’ tactics of blending illegal and legal transactions for evasion

In the wake of the high-profile S$1.8 billion case, Mr Shanmugam emphasized the critical need to maintain Singapore’s reputation “as a place with trusted, sound regulation, good governance, strong rule of law” while staying open.

He pointed out that the financial services sector contributes 14 percent to Singapore’s gross domestic product, employs approximately 200,000 individuals, and significantly impacts growth across other sectors.

Therefore, closing the door to the financial centre is not an option, as it would inadvertently block even legitimate funds from entering.

Additionally, Mr Shanmugam acknowledged that criminals might attempt to commingle illegal transactions with legitimate ones to evade detection, a practice observed in financial hubs worldwide, including London, Hong Kong, and Australia.

“And inevitably, when you are a major financial centre, a lot of money comes in, some ‘flies’ will also come in… But everyone, not just us, has to do our best”

Mr Shanmugam highlights Singapore’s robust anti-money laundering measures

Mr Shanmugam emphasized Singapore’s robust anti-money laundering measures, aligning with international best practices, where the Monetary Authority of Singapore and financial institutions act as the primary defence.

He highlighted the obligation of various gatekeepers, including real estate agents and precious commodities dealers, to report suspicious transactions under Singapore’s laws.

Furthermore, Mr Shanmugam noted that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had evaluated Singapore’s legal and institutional framework, finding it strong with stringent licensing controls, effective detection and supervision, interagency coordination, data sharing, and swift law enforcement when criminal activities are exposed.

The fact that the ten arrested individuals are believed to have originated from China has raised concerns among other Chinese nationals in Singapore, but Mr Shanmugam reassured that those engaged in lawful businesses and bringing in lawful funds should not worry.

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Ya, right, and shanmugan can speak mandarin like a PRC pro. Ya, right.

Must be highly degrading and embarrassing, … if, investigations and teams were only brought together after a “little hint” from foreign intelligence, … … as the city states all singing and all dancing Law Minister !!!

Recall Shanmi also defended 5 policemen sent to arrest a 14YO in school in front of all teachers and classmates as NORMAL. The boy interrogated by police for 8 hours WITHOUT adult/legal presence is also NORMAL procedure.

Shanmi got credibility, meh? Many had said Tharman can be PM, but NOBODY ever suggested Shanmi has that capability nor demand such respect. Look, Tharman even got 70.4% votes for president, meaning not just the minorities think highly of him. Now, how many think highly of Shanmi? Maybe should ask his Ridout neighbors, hor?

Sometimes it is hard not to believe what other people said.
It was a mass islandwide police operation involved more than 400 personnel.
I have not come across news that Singapore police in history has mobilized so many officers from various departments, in any police operation. How many police is mobilized in the little India riot? How many to search for mas selamat? How many to search for huang na? How many to nab Adrian lim?

Singing his praises on his own stage during his own opera. Well done now give yourself a pat on the back.
Learn from PAP their tradition proudly passed down from generations to generations and always cover up the truth to save face.

本人在此,

也要通知新方 ,要引進中方移民必須要三思

對於新方的gdp, 肯定有幫助 ,不過 ,這些 資金 , 是咱們國家的 ,國有的。

在此 ,要感謝 新方 公安 ,商業調查局,廉政公署 ,緊密配合,破獲,以 祖國的 錢 非法轉移,洗黑錢,不法勾當,等等 。

Is this issue important .

Well done to cad , icac , police force

No matter how complex , complexterer, complextererest.

把犯罪份子 , 繩之於 法

This is another case of OWNSELF PRAISE OWNSELF and making motherhood statements. No remorse or no apology after allowing all the crooks in. His own Ministry failed in vetting the profile of these criminals and giving them visas. Some of the crooks are here for three years. 728sq metre is the size of our island, if you cannot even keep the crooks out of this tiny island, you should resign as this is a result of incompetency. It is a waste of public funds to have 400 police officers working to apprehend 10 criminals in a Smart Nation. These criminals… Read more »

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