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Wang Dehai receives longest sentence of 16 months in S$3B money laundering case

Wang Dehai, the final individual among the 10 foreigners to plead guilty in S$3 billion money laundering case, received a 16-month jail sentence on Friday. Wang had been wanted by China since 2015 and relocated to Singapore in 2018 with the intention of residing here with his wife and ensuring his children received an education in the country.



SINGAPORE: Wang Dehai, the last of the 10 foreigners to plead guilty in Singapore’s landmark S$3 billion money laundering case, was sentenced to 16 months in jail on Friday (7 June)– the longest term handed down in the case so far.

Wang, a Cypriot national originally from Fujian, China, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and agreed to forfeit more than S$49 million, approximately 90 per cent of his seized assets, to the state.

Five other charges, including three counts of making a false statement to the Ministry of Manpower’s Controller of Work Passes, were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that since 2012, the 35-year-old had been involved in an illegal remote gambling business based in the Philippines, targeting punters in China.

Assets amounting to around S$54 million, encompassing cash, cryptocurrency, luxury goods, and property, were seized from Wang, representing gains derived from his illicit activities in the remote gambling sector.

In 2015, the Guiyang County Public Security Bureau discovered that Wang, along with other individuals, Su Jianfeng, Su Wenqiang, Wang Huoqiang, and Su Yongcan were suspects of a major crime, and they were fugitives at that time.

Notably, Su Jianfeng (苏剑锋), and Su Wenqiang (苏文强) are among the ten individuals arrested and charged in the S$3 billion case.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Louis Ngia stated that Wang began as a customer service staff member before advancing to a promoter role with a 3 per cent share in the business.

In 2016, he received 80 million yuan (S$15 million) for his involvement in the gambling business. Additionally, he was given HK$8 million (S$1.4 million) in 2022.

Wanted by China, finds refuge in ‘safer’ Singapore

Around October 2016, upon discovering that he was wanted by Chinese authorities, Wang experienced a state of panic, primarily concerning the prospect of returning to China.

It was his brother-in-law, Su Yongcan, who suggested that Wang relocate to Singapore, where it would be “safer” for him, among other reasons.

The DPP told the court on Friday that Wang moved to Singapore in 2018 intending to live here with his wife and ensure his children received an education here.

Wang’s money laundering charge relates to his possession of a silver Rimowa suitcase containing over S$2.2 million in cash.

Upon his arrest on 15 August 2023, the police questioned him about the suitcase’s contents.

Initially, he claimed the suitcase belonged to his wife, but he later confessed that the cash belonged to him when instructed to open the suitcase.

In a statement to the police on 18 August last year, Wang initially claimed that the money in question came from selling cryptocurrency, winning mahjong games, and receiving funds from his brother-in-law, Su Yongcan.

A warrant of arrest and an Interpol red notice has been issued against Su Yongcan, who is currently on the run, for money laundering offences.

DPP Ngia stated on 25 August 2023, that Wang provided a different and inconsistent account, asserting that the money solely originated from Su Yongcan as a loan.

DPP Ngia sought a sentence of 16 to 17 months in jail for Wang, citing his laundering of about S$25 million.

Defence counsel: Wang’s relocation to Singapore for his family’s well-being

Wang’s defence counsel Megan Chia sought 13 months in jail for her client, emphasizing that Wang and his wife relocated to Singapore to provide a good environment for their three children.

Wang’s counsel mentioned that Wang’s forfeited assets include their family home, a condominium in Paterson Hill near Orchard Road.

She also noted that while Wang ceased involvement in illegal online gambling upon moving to Singapore, despite he still received payouts.

“There was no malicious intent, they wanted to lead a simple life in Singapore,” Ms Chia defended.

Responding to the defence’s submissions, District Judge Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz expressed perturbation at the characterization of Wang’s family in Singapore, particularly noting that their family home was purchased using S$23 million in illicit funds.

Wang allegedly used the mentioned fund to purchase a condominium unit in The Marq at 8 Paterson Hill in November 2019.

Over S$940 million in assets have been forfeited by the 10 convicted foreigners to date.

The police announced on 6 June that the S$3 billion in cash and assets seized in Singapore’s largest money laundering case belonged to 27 individuals, including the 10 convicted individuals. The remaining 17 individuals are currently under investigation.

Eight other accused in the S$3B case:  Su WenqiangSu HaijinWang BaosenSu Baolin,  Zhang Ruijin, Vang ShuimingChen Qingyuan, and Lin Baoying already pleaded guilty earlier, all of whom received jail sentences ranging from 13 to 15 months for their involvement in money laundering activities.

Su Jianfeng became the ninth to plead guilty in the landmark case and agreed to forfeit S$178.9 million of his seized assets to the state. His sentencing is set for next Monday.

Su Wenqiang and Wang Baoshen were deported to Cambodia by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority on 6 May.

Cambodian national Su Baolin and Cypriot national Su Haijin were deported to Cambodia on 25 and 28 May, respectively. Turkish national Vang was deported to Japan last Saturday (1 June). ICA revealed that all five individuals are barred from re-entering Singapore.

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“Your money or your life” ?
I can see more of their kind heading here…invited in by this lax sgov’s law polices..
What a deal!

This is definitely going to cause loss of votes to the PAP as people are shocked at the leniency of the sentencing. What’s this about these criminals forfeiting their ill gotten gains? Should n’t it have been seized by the police? They are using it as bargaining for sentencing terms? So 1MDB funds were not seized because the criminal NR did not forfeit his ill gotten gains?Does he have a say after committing the theft of the century?Is this how the Rule of Law is applied in Singapore? Singaporeans please pay attention as our judicial branch is undergoing a serious… Read more »

16 months jail but after remission will be our in no time to freedom.

SG looks like very kind and forgiving to big timer criminals. They’re most welcomed here and spend like a king or queen as long as don’t get caught