Total value of assets seized in money laundering case now more than $2.8 billion

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A staggering $2.8 billion worth of assets have been seized in Singapore’s largest known money laundering case. Revealed in Parliament on October 3, Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo announced the figure that includes 152 properties, 62 vehicles, multiple bank accounts, cash, and cryptocurrencies.

This remarkable amount is almost triple the initial $1 billion figure at the time of the first discovery in mid-August of this year. In addition to the seized assets, Teo disclosed the police had also confiscated a large amount of luxury items, including thousands of bottles of liquor and wine, 68 gold bars, 294 luxury bags, 164 luxury watches, and 546 pieces of jewellery.

It began in early 2022 with a small group of police officers. They were looking for signals of a potential money laundering case. Seeing how serious the matter was, all enforcement or investigative actions were held off so as to not alert any possible suspects.

The ten suspects have since been arrested and denied bail, and investigations are still ongoing. In response to the matter, Second Minister for Finance and National Development Indranee Rajah declared a new committee of office holders from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Law, Ministry of Manpower, and Ministry of Trade and Industry would be created.

The committee, chaired by Rajah, will be focusing on four key areas: foiling potential abuse of corporate structures by money launderers, enhancing financial institution controls and collaborations, engaging more players in the system (eg. corporate service providers, real estate agents etc), and centralising and strengthening government capabilities to better detect suspicious activity.

Singapore now stands vigilant to protect itself from any potentially unlawful money laundering practices.

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