Thứ Tư, 2 tháng 7, 2014

Singapore Says More Overseas Criminals Seek Bank Accounts

Singapore prosecuted a record number

of money laundering cases and seized more than S$115 million

($92 million) of suspected criminal proceeds in 2013 as more

overseas offenders seek out bank accounts in the city.

“Singapore’s openness as an international transport hub

and financial center exposes it to cross-border money-laundering

and terrorist financing risks,” Tan Boon Gin, director of the

Commercial Affairs Department, said in the agency’s annual

posted on its website. “We are seeing a trend of

overseas criminals seeking to launder money through Singapore

bank accounts.”

The city’s white-collar police has tripled its financial

investigation resources with an increase in suspicious

transaction reports and aid requests from overseas enforcement

agencies. Organized crime groups are getting more sophisticated

and taking advantage of opportunities as Singapore’s financial

industry expands, the agency said.

The agency received 22,417 suspicious transactions reports

in 2013, a 25 percent increase from a year earlier, according to

the report. It provided financial intelligence to foreign

agencies in 341 instances, up from 160 in 2012. The financial

police received 164 overseas requests for assistance. More than

S$65 million of suspected criminal proceeds were seized in the

preceding year, according to the agency’s 2012 annual report.

Anti-Money Laundering

Li Huabo, a former Chinese government official accused of a

94 million yuan ($15 million) fraud in his home country, was

sentenced to 15 months in jail after the suspicious transaction

reporting unit received information on remittances into their

Singapore bank accounts, according to the report. Li is

appealing his verdict.

Singapore is boosting its anti-money laundering rules in

line with global regulations following U.S. authorities’ probe

of several Swiss banks for their dealings on behalf of American

clients. The Asian city plans to regulate virtual-currency

intermediaries including operators of Bitcoin exchanges and

vending machines to address money laundering risks and may boost

rules for remittance agents and money changers.

The Commercial Affairs Department has also set up a unit to

investigate fraud where the victim is a public company as recent

events in the stock market suggest an increase in the scale and

complexity of market abuse.

The white-collar agency and the central bank are

investigating suspected share-trading irregularities after a

penny stock rout in October erased $6.9 billion in market value.

The enforcement scope of the agency will also increase with

Singapore’s plan to criminalize the rigging of financial

benchmarks, the police said.

To contact the reporter on this story:

Andrea Tan in Singapore at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:

Douglas Wong at

Linus Chua, Tomoko Yamazaki

Singapore Says More Overseas Criminals Seek Bank Accounts

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