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Singapore Seizes $1.8 Billion in Anti-Money Laundering Crackdown
In what is being hailed as Singapore’s largest money laundering crackdown to date, authorities announced on Wednesday that the total value of assets seized has ballooned to an astounding S$2.4 billion ($1.76 billion).
The Diverse Cache of Seized Assets
The seized assets now comprise a diverse array, including more than S$76 million in cash, 68 gold bars, cryptocurrencies exceeding S$38 million, over 110 properties, and 62 vehicles valued at more than S$1.2 million.
The Enigmatic Seizures and Ongoing Investigations
While police have not divulged specific information regarding the recent seizures or the circumstances of their discovery, this development follows last month’s extraordinary operation where 400 police officers conducted synchronized raids across Singapore, resulting in the apprehension of 10 foreigners embroiled in an anti-money laundering crackdown.
Authorities suspect that these 10 individuals were involved in “laundering the proceeds of their overseas organized crime activities, including scams and online gambling.”
During the earlier raids, authorities confiscated a staggering S$1 billion worth of assets, encompassing bank accounts, S$23 million in cash, luxurious residences, high-end vehicles, designer bags, exquisite timepieces, and even two gold bars. Notably, the suspects possessed multiple passports from countries such as Cyprus, Cambodia, Dominica, China, Turkey, and Vanuatu.
The total value of the seized assets was subsequently adjusted to S$1.8 billion in early September, as ongoing investigations led authorities to assets held in Swiss banks.
The substantial sums involved in this case have captured widespread attention in Singapore, a nation renowned for its substantial investments and affluent private wealth, especially since the onset of the pandemic, despite its reputation for low crime rates.
Recent statistics from the central bank reveal that Singapore witnessed a 16% surge in total assets under management in 2021, reaching S$5.4 trillion, in contrast to the global increase of 12% to $112 trillion during the same year.