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Singapore police uncovered more luxury watches, gold bars and other assets from a massive money laundering scheme that was busted last month, they said, bringing the total amount of assets seized or frozen to $1.75 billion.
The police had launched further operations related to a group of foreign nationals suspected to be involved in laundering the proceeds of their organized criminal activities, including scams and online gambling, police said in a statement on Wednesday.
The latest action followed multiple other raids across the city-state last month that saw properties, vehicles, luxury goods and gold bars worth $731 million seized or frozen. Nine men and a woman from Cyprus, Turkey, China, Cambodia and Vanuatu have been charged in court.
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The case has cast a shadow on Singapore’s status as a financial hub known for its low crime and clean image.
The latest operations saw additional assets seized or frozen, with the total estimate growing to $1.75 billion, police said Wednesday. This included bank accounts with a total estimated value of more than $824 million and cash of more than $55 million.
The financial skyline along the Marina Bay area is seen in Singapore on June 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim, File)
Police also seized 68 gold bars, 294 luxury bags, 164 luxury watches, 546 pieces of jewelry, 204 electronic devices and cryptocurrencies worth over $28 million. The statement said prohibition of disposal orders were been issued against more than 110 properties and 62 vehicles with a total estimated value of more than $906 million, as well as bottles of liquor, wine and multiple ornaments.
“Investigations are ongoing,” the statement added.
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The Monetary Authority of Singapore said Wednesday that financial institutions had filed suspicious transaction reports such as suspicious fund flows, dubious documentation of the source of wealth or funds, and inconsistencies or evasiveness in information provided to them.
It warned that it would take firm action against financial institutions that breach requirements or have inadequate controls against money laundering and on countering the financing of terrorism.