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Singapore Authorities Have Seized over $2B in Latest Money Laundering Case

In August, Singaporean authorities busted a huge illegal gambling and money laundering operation , seizing hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. A few weeks later, the investigators provided an update, saying that the value of the cash and assets they have seized so far is actually north of $2 billion .



The scheme involved a criminal gang comprised of foreign nationals who ran illegal gambling platforms they used to launder money. The police initially arrested 10 people with a local judge refusing to release them on bail.



The operation involved people with passports from the Dominican Republic, Turkey and Cyprus, with some possessing multiple passports. However, the people were in fact Chinese nationals . One of them was allegedly related to the earlier Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator scheme.



The Singapore Police Force quickly began to realize the size of the operation it had busted as the value of the seized cash and assets continued to mount up as the investigation progressed.



The Police Seized Multiple Luxury Items and Properties



Throughout the investigation, the authorities seized cash, properties, vehicles, jewelry and even crypto wallets. The police have so far seized a whopping 152 properties and 62 luxury vehicles. Last month, the police reported having seized 294 luxury bags, 164 luxury watches and a staggering 68 gold bars.



Meanwhile, the culprits’ crypto accounts have been frozen.



The investigation continues as much of the scheme sports security measures that make tracking the money down hard. This also presents challenges to the police which hope to make more arrests.



Singapore Vowed to Combat Money Laundering



In the meantime, Singapore will evaluate its regulatory framework, exploring it for any potential loopholes the criminals might have exploited.  The country plans to introduce new regulations if needed, lest its image as a global financial hub gets tarnished.



In any case, the current scandal is the largest money laundering case in Singapore’s almost 60 years of history and might very well be one of the largest money laundering scandals in the world, according to Josephine Teo , Singapore’s second home affairs minister.



Teo added that Singapore takes money laundering very seriously and will do everything it can to crack down on such illicit activities. She pointed out that this is not the first time the authorities have taken enforcement action against such offenses and it will not be the last.



Singaporean authorities, meanwhile, warned that any financial institutions that might have facilitated the scheme would face intense scrutiny.

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