Money Laundering Offences & Singapore Law

Money laundering is the process whereby money obtained by criminal or illegitimate means is converted to give the appearance of having come from legal or legitimate source. The Corruption, Drug, Trafficking and other serious crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, commonly known as CDSA.

In Singapore, there are four types of money laundering offences criminalised under CDSA. The offence is committed when a person:

(1) Section 46(1) and 47(1): Conceals or disguises any property (in whole or part) which is derived from Drug Trafficking or from Criminal Conduct; or converts/ transfer that property or removes it from Singapore.

(2) Section 46(3) and 47(3): Knows or has reasonable grounds to believe that any property is derived from Drug Trafficking or from Criminal Conduct and obtains that property for no or inadequate consideration.

(3) Section 46(2) and 47(2): Knowingly (subjectively and objectively) assists a person to commit the offence No.1 in order to avoid the prosecution of a money laundering offence or to avoid the enforcement of a confiscation order under the Act.

(4) Section 43(1) and 44(1): Assist a drug trafficker or a serious crime offender (criminal) to (a) retain or control his benefits from these criminal activities or (b) secure such funds or (c) invest such funds

The penalty for the commission of any of these offences is a fine not exceeding $200,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding seven years, or both. Sections 43(5) and 46(6) of CDSA.


Money Laundering: Reporting of suspicious transactions

A Suspicious Transaction Report(STR) should be lodged when a person has knowledge or has reasonable grounds to suspect that any property or proceeds is directly or indirectly associated with a criminal conduct or drug trafficking.

Section 39(1) of the CDSA (Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act imposes a duty to disclose knowledge or suspicion that any property represents the proceeds of, or is linked to a criminal activity.

Failure to report suspicious transaction is an offence under CDSA. According to Section 39(2), if found guilty, the person will be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000.

Credit :

Lawyer and realtor accused of not reporting to authorities a suspicious deal

PUBLISHED NOV 16, 2017, 8:38 PM SGT
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SINGAPORE - A conveyancing lawyer and a real estate agent were charged on Thursday (Nov 16) with failing to report to the authorities a suspicious property deal involving a Chinese businesswoman convicted in China in relation to financial fraud.

Under the law, managing director of Sterling Law Corporation Kang Bee Leng, 56, and Tan Yen Hsi, senior marketing director of CBRE Realty Associates, are required to make a report to a "suspicious transaction reporting officer" when a deal looks like a bid to launder money or finance terrorist regimes.

This case involves Zhang Min, the former president of China's largest online peer-to-peer lender Ezubao, who was linked to one of China's biggest Ponzi scheme amounting to US$7.6 billion (S$10.3 billion).

Zhang, who was a client of Kang and Tan, had bought a house in Sentosa Cove's Lakeshore View .

Court documents say that on Jan 12 last year, Kang had reasonable grounds to suspect that more than $5 million used to buy the property in Zhang's name might represent the proceeds of criminal conduct.

The police said in a statement on Wednesday (Nov 15) that Zhang's arrest had been reported by various international and local media platforms.

"However, despite the adverse news reported on their client, they failed to file any STR (suspicious transaction reports) on the said private property purchase, which came to their attention in the course of their trade, profession, business or employment."

It added that the Commercial Affairs Department began investigating the Singaporean duo in May last year.

Zhang and 24 others had reportedly been sentenced to between three and 15 years' jail in Beijing over her involvment in financial fraud

The police statement underlined the importance of reporting suspicious transactions, saying it is "a key pillar of Singapore's anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorist regimes".

It added: "The Singapore authorities take a serious view towards the filing of such reports, and strongly urge reporting entities to continue their vigilance in detecting and reporting suspicious transactions."

Kang's case has been adjourned to Dec 14 while Tan will be back in court on Dec 21. They were each offered bail of $15,000.

If found guilty, they can be fined up to $20,000.