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Tan See Leng: Suspects in S$2.8 billion money laundering case granted EP as they met Work Pass criteria

Singapore’s Minister of Manpower, Dr. Tan See Leng, clarified that the Employment Pass applications for the individuals involved in the significant S$2.8 billion money laundering case were approved as they met the existing work pass criteria for salary and qualifications.

He emphasized that companies provided necessary documents for business operations and salary payment, noting that none of the suspects appeared on Interpol’s red notice list at the time of their applications.

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SINGAPORE: Dr Tan See Leng, Singapore’s Minister of Manpower, recently addressed the Parliament on Tuesday (3 Oct) to explain why the suspects involved in the S$2.8 billion money laundering case were able to obtain Employment Passes (EP) and subsequently reside in Singapore.

All ten individuals who were arrested as part of the multi-billion dollar money laundering investigation either held employment or dependent passes in the city-state.

Dr Tan revealed that these Employment Pass applications were approved because they met the then prevailing work pass requirements on salary and qualifications.

He noted, “When asked for proof of business operations and the ability to pay salaries, the companies which submitted the applications were able to provide supporting documents.”

The Second Minister for Home Affairs, Mrs Josephine Teo, explained in her Ministerial Statement earlier, work pass applicants are screened against a database of blacklisted individuals.

At the time, none of the ten suspects appeared on Interpol’s red notice list when they applied for these passes.

Dr Tan highlighted that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) conducts rigorous checks to ensure that the work pass framework is not exploited.

These checks focus on detecting false declarations regarding salaries and qualifications, as well as scrutinizing whether companies genuinely operate to cover the declared salaries of their employees.

Dr Tan’s responses were prompted by questions from Members of Parliament regarding MOM’s role in combating anti-money laundering risks.

He reassured the Parliament that MOM would enhance its fraud checks based on real-life cases and insights from the money laundering incident.

“Learning from the profiles of companies and individuals involved in the money laundering incident, we will update our data analytics with high-risk archetypes and strengthen our checks on whether businesses are operational.”

Dr Tan underscored that some individuals may misuse the work pass framework to enter Singapore for illicit activities, including the current money laundering case.

“Some may pretend to be employed by companies that are actually inactive or dormant. But others may operate companies with an active trading front to mask the movement of their ill-gotten gains. ”

“Yet others, still, may own a portfolio of legitimate and illicit businesses. Criminals will constantly find new ways to circumvent our laws and regulations and update their methods over time, making the task of detection even more complex.”

He said MOM’s salary fraud checks should be seen as a first layer of checks to detect companies that do not have business operations to cover the declared salaries of workers.

He further explained on how  MOM conducts salary fraud checks and MOM’s role in Whole-of-Government efforts to manage money laundering risks.

on fraud checks. MOM uses data analytics to identify higher-risk work pass applications for greater scrutiny.

Regarding fraud checks, MOM employs data analytics to identify higher-risk work pass applications for more thorough examination.

Any indication of potential salary fraud necessitates companies providing documentary proof of their business operations and financial capacity.

MOM conducts post-issuance checks and may subject companies to audits or additional scrutiny during work pass renewals.

MOM also responds to whistleblower reports to investigate ongoing business operations.

“We continuously sharpen our checks to better identify such fraudulent applications. For instance, we regularly update our data analytics with concluded fraud cases and enforcement findings so that they can more accurately pin-point and flag out applications that are potentially fraudulent. ”

“We conduct audits to detect breaches, and to validate and strengthen our analytics. Our enforcement teams are also trained to detect various forms of salary fraud.”

Regarding MOM’s role in Whole-of-Government efforts, MOM will review and enhance verification checks at various stages.

Minister Indranee, in her speech, shared her commitment to lead an Inter-Ministerial Committee focused on keeping Singapore’s regime aligned with evolving, sophisticated crimes.

Dr Tan said MOM will actively participate in this committee and support efforts to strengthen Singapore’s anti-money laundering regime.

Dr Tan emphasized that the majority of work pass holders come to Singapore to work and contribute positively to the economy. Only a small minority engage in unscrupulous activities.

“We must take a sensible approach to calibrating our checks so that we do not hurt bona fide employers.”

All 10 suspects in S$2.8 billion money laundering case held Singapore Employment and Dependant Passes

As the ongoing investigation into the S$2.8 billion case unfolds, more shocking revelations continue to astonish the people of Singapore.

On 18 August, three days after the police’s islandwide raid, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) disclosed that the 10 arrested foreigners, consisting of nine men and one woman aged between 31 and 44, held Employment (EP) and Dependant Passes (DP).

These ten individuals, originating from diverse nationalities but sharing a common Fujian origin, face a range of charges, including forgery, money laundering, and resisting arrest.

For instance,  key suspect Vang Shuiming, a 42-year-old Turkish national originally from Fujian, is wanted by Chinese authorities for illegal online gambling, yet he and his family have managed to evade them and relocate to Singapore since 2019.

Interestingly, Vang’s children are currently attending international schools in Singapore. Furthermore, the court learned that Vang’s wife, son, and daughter each hold passports from Türkiye, China, and Vanuatu.

The court trial also revealed that Cypriot national Su Haijin, one of the key accused, made Singapore his home since 2017; Previously, it had been disclosed that Su Haijin and his brother, Su Baolin had close financial dealings related to two Beach Road properties valued at S$2.2 million in Su Haijin’s name.

Singapore authorities also uncovered that another accused, Wang Baosen had orchestrated the establishment of his wife’s company to secure her an employment pass (EP) in the country.

 

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MOM sez it’s legal money washing woh! srzzzzly, MOM needs to be investigated too.

Come to think about it, this money laundromat can earn so much money, in billion, I would consider putting these people in our GIC as CEOs. We can forget about increasing GST.

These people can do better than our PAP’s.

In 2023, this can happen. Wonder what’s have been happening since 1965. 🤔
Think.

Josephine Teo said “Detecting money laundering like finding needle in haystacks”.

So SG authorities with so much resources at its disposal pushed the detection to lawyers, accountants and real estate agents, some of who are one-man show earning barely enough to survive?

Tan: my MoM official see, he mainland Chinese got Turkey passport. He wink, my officer also wink.
So I tell you, Let’s Move On.

this tan see kia insults our intelligence yet again, like all pap politicians always do. Of course these billionaires criminals, openly welcomed by pinky loong, absolutely met the loose and open legs prostitution criteria set by mom la, duh! How many millions did we hand off to this lame see leng masquerading as a minister to provide such a stupidly, insulting answer??? Voters please remember his pathetic, poor performance and vote him out for a better one ok?! ! Obviously see leng’s “rigorous” checks have been lame, to say the least, as they had not even learnt from nick leeson’s… Read more »

So the frozen assets of $2.8 bn will be confiscated by the regime or what ?

Wah like that this free money is a big windfall, so why still raise prices and taxes ?

Of bloody course, … they met the criteria !!! What an absolute idiotic and pathetic statement to make, officially, … for a senior minister !!! In fact, all members of the FuJian gang met all criterias, … … for banking under the MAS, estate agencies for home purchase/s under MND, car ownerships under MOT, rental agreements with the SLA, law abiding with the SPF, businesses and EP’s with MOM, … … for four entire years !!! All of the above ministries, have not one sharp and eagle~eyed individual (minister included), … able to spot anything “iffy”, … … but for… Read more »

Ministers in Singapore are paid this galaxy highest salary, they are expected to be super. They are paid not to give excuses and blame others.

Stop blaming Interpol, stop blaming property agencies, stop blaming employers. Stop the “No blame culture” on yourself only, take responsibility.

Granted because insufficient check should be the correct statement.

Look, how many fake pass holders in SG and how many were caught in one way or another

We have to be fair to MOM. Say someone comes to Singapore and starts a company. He invests $5m to operate the company. He declared himself a director of the company and draws $10k a month salary. Are you not going to issue a work pass to him to work as director of the company?

Utter nonsense. I knew one of the fujian lady who has an EP with fake degree. Even told Police about it but nothing happen. She never work a day of her life in Singapore as a project manager with a Chinese Construction Company. Her salary back then was $8,000. All using the ill-gotten Ed money to pay to the company. She has a Rolls Royce, Bentley and Alphard. Till now I’m still waiting for the news about them.

Dead Dragon, that means your department issues work passes blindly, without due diligence to check thoroughly. There were already many cases of foreigners applying work passes with forged qualifications, and fake and jacked up salaries by their employers.
Still never learn from past mistakes. It is either your department does not want to learn or they try to bend the rules and monkeying behind your back…..lol.

Laying out smoke screens to cover up their incompetence as usual while, with a poker face telling the whole world those things they would put in place to be less incompetent next time.Really UNBELIEVABLE 🙄🙄

Ministerial statement my A$$, more like excuses to get out of hot soup because they got played by the very system they implemented. So now they’ve declared they’re not in the wrong and need to update analytics and all that conundrum! Typical PAP style.

Obviously, the foreigners know how our system works and managed to enter Singapore with their families and live here for years. Dr. Tan, you are administrating a failed system and these criminals have proven it. They are probably not the only ones, there must be many more using your system to scam you because of leniency in allowing the foreign population to enter Singapore using various visas. Does your department check on the necessity to employ these foreigners and not locals? What are the qualifications held by these foreigners to allow them to live and work here? It cannot be… Read more »

Ownself say Ownself not at fault; anyone surprised?

Recall SMRT vehemently declared that there were NO LAPSES, even as 2 techs were struck by train and laid dead on the tracks. Dead bodies not counted as lapses, hor.

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