Singapore authorities have made headlines with what is being hailed as the country’s most significant money laundering operation to date. Police have now reported a staggering increase in the total value of confiscated assets, which now amounts to S$2.4 billion ($1.76 billion).
The vast inventory of seized assets includes over S$76 million in cash, 68 gold bars, cryptocurrencies worth more than S$38 million, over 110 properties, and 62 vehicles with a combined worth exceeding S$1.2 million.
While the Singapore police have not provided specific details about the new seizures or the methods used to locate them, this revelation comes in the wake of last month’s large-scale operation. In that operation, 400 police officers conducted synchronized raids across Singapore, resulting in the arrest of 10 foreign nationals.
These individuals are suspected of laundering the proceeds of their organized crime activities, which reportedly involve scams and online gambling. Initial seizures during the raids accounted for assets valued at S$1 billion, including bank accounts, luxury real estate, cars, high-end accessories, and S$23 million in cash.
Furthermore, the accused had two gold bars and several passports from countries such as Cyprus, Cambodia, Dominica, China, Turkey, and Vanuatu confiscated. By early September, the value of the seized assets had risen to S$1.8 billion, as authorities followed leads that led them to assets hidden in Swiss banks.
This case has sparked intense discussions in Singapore, a nation renowned for attracting significant investments and private wealth, particularly in the post-pandemic era. The revelation of such extensive money laundering activities has shocked the citizens of Singapore, given the country’s reputation for maintaining low crime rates.
Recent data from the central bank highlights Singapore’s financial growth, with assets under management growing by 16% in 2021, reaching S$5.4 trillion. This growth outpaced the global increase of 12%, which amounted to $112 trillion during the same period.
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