30/09/2023

Electricity, Gas & Water tariffs to go up

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Electricity and gas tariffs to increase in fourth quarter due to higher costs
Electricity tariffs will go up by an average of 3.7 per cent, or 0.98 cent per kilowatt-hour, before GST, compared with the current quarter. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Gas and electricity prices will go up for the next three months due to higher fuel and energy costs. The electricity tariff will go up by an average of 3.7 per cent, or 0.98 cent per kilowatt-hour (kWh), before goods and services tax, compared with the current quarter, said SP Group on Friday. For households, between Oct 1 and Dec 31, the electricity tariff will increase from 27.74 cents per kWh in the current quarter to 28.7 cents per kWh, excluding the GST. Including GST, the rate for the quarter is 31 cents per kWh.

The average monthly electricity bill for families living in four-room Housing Board flats will increase by $3.57 before GST, said SP Group. This is due to higher energy costs compared with the previous quarter, it added. The electricity tariff is calculated from four components, including energy costs that reflect the cost of imported natural gas, and the cost of operating the power stations. SP Group said it reviews electricity tariffs every quarter, based on guidelines set by the Energy Market Authority (EMA).

Meanwhile, the gas tariff for households will go up by 0.51 cent per kWh before GST, said City Energy, the producer and retailer of piped gas. Excluding GST, the rate will increase from 21.91 cents per kWh to 22.42 cents per kWh for the period from Oct 1 to Dec 31. With GST, the rate is 24.21 cents per kWh. This is due to an increase in fuel costs compared with the previous quarter, said City Energy. The revised gas tariffs have been approved by EMA, which also regulates the gas industry.



Electricity and gas tariffs to go up from October to December due to higher energy costs

The electricity tariff will go up by an average of 3.7 per cent from October to December, national grid operator SP Group said on Friday (Sep 29). This translates to an increase of about 0.98 cents per kWh before Goods and Services Tax (GST).

It is the second consecutive quarter of increase, with SP Group attributing the rise in electricity tariff to higher energy costs compared with the previous quarter. For households, the electricity tariff before GST will increase from 27.74 to 28.70 cents per kWh. The average monthly electricity bill for families living in Housing Board four-room flats will increase by S$3.57 (US$2.60) before GST.

The gas tariff, meanwhile, will increase by about 2.3 per cent to 22.42 cents per kWh, announced City Energy.


Household water prices to rise 18% by April 2025

Water prices will rise by a total of 18.2 per cent in two phases over two years starting from April 1 next year. It's the first increase since 2017, with financial help for low- and middle-income groups to be announced on Thursday (Sept 28), the Government said.

This increase is 50 cents per cubic metre (1,000 litres) of water, the national water agency PUB and the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said in a joint statement on Wednesday. They said that three-quarters of households here would see an increase of under S$10 per month in their water bills by the time the full hike kicks in from April 2025. This is before accounting for government support, they added.

Similarly, about three in four businesses here — including small- and medium-sized enterprises — will see an increase of less than S$25 in their monthly water bills, PUB and MSE said. The price hike is necessary to meet the “substantially” higher cost of producing and supplying water, they said. It is also needed to maintain long-term investments to fulfil water demand that is projected to double by 2065 as a result of economic and population growth.


Singapore to raise water prices by 18% over two phases in 2024 and 2025
The price of water for most households will increase from S$2.74 for every 1,000 litres used to S$3.24 in 2025, a rise of about 18 per cent

Water prices in Singapore will rise by about 18 per cent over the next two years, national water agency PUB said on Wednesday (Sep 27). 

Potable water currently costs S$2.74 (US$2.01) for every 1,000 litres, or per cubic metre, before tax for most households. The increase translates to an additional 50 cents per cubic metre. It will be split over two phases: 20 cents on Apr 1, 2024 and 30 cents on Apr 1, 2025. After the 2025 revision, three in four households will see a less than S$10 increase in their monthly water bills, PUB said.

For businesses, three in four will see their water bills rise by less than S$25 a month while three in four hawkers will foot an increase of less than S$15 monthly. The 4 per cent of households that consume much more water – exceeding 40 cubic metres a month – will see a higher increase in their bills. For every cubic metre of water above the threshold, the rate they pay will rise by 70 cents, from S$3.69 now to S$3.94 next year and S$4.39 the year after. The average household consumes about 15 cubic metres of water each month.

S’pore water price to rise by 50 cents per cubic m by 2025
Most households will fork out an additional $4 - $9, excluding GST, for their monthly water bills by 2025 FOTO: BRIAN TEO

Water will soon cost consumers an additional 50 cents per cubic m, starting with a 20-cent increase in April 2024 and a 30-cent rise in April 2025. This means that most households will fork out an additional $4 to $9, excluding goods and services tax (GST), for their monthly water bill by 2025, said national water agency PUB on Wednesday.

In 2020, the average monthly consumption of water was 15 cubic m for condominiums and 16.2 cubic m for HDB flats. Lower- and middle-income households will get help to offset some of the price increase. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong will announce cost-of-living support measures to provide more relief for Singaporean households on Thursday.

The last water price hike of 30 per cent happened in 2017. The upcoming 50-cent rise – bringing the cost of 1 cubic m, or 1,000 litres, of water to $3.24 – is an 18 per cent increase. The price hike between 1997 and 2000 saw water prices rising by 120 per cent for households. The upcoming increase comes amid rising living costs, GST hikes and higher transport fares, and the water agency did not take the decision lightly, said a PUB spokesman.

related:


What you need to know about Singapore's impending water price hike

Water prices are set to increase by 18 per cent, starting from April next year.

How will the impending rise impact you, businesses or hawkers? Here's what you need to know:
  • How much more will I have to pay? - If you consume up to 40 cubic metres of water, you will have to pay an additional 50 cents per cubic metre. The hike will be implemented over two phases: 20 cents on Apr 1, 2024 and 30 cents on Apr 1, 2025.
  • What help will I get? - The Ministry of Finance will on Thursday announce additional support measures to help households with the impact of the water price increase and other cost of living concerns. Meanwhile, all one-, two- and three-room households can apply for e-vouchers under the Climate Friendly Households Programme to offset the costs of installing water-efficient shower fittings.
  • How much more will businesses have to pay? - Three in four businesses, including small and medium enterprises will experience an increase of less than S$25 in their monthly water bills. Three out of four hawkers will see an increase of less than S$15 per month.
  • When were water prices last raised? - Water prices were last raised by 30 per cent in 2017, also over two phases. Announced in Budget 2017, the water prices were raised for the first time since 2000 to reflect the costs of water supply and to maintain Singapore's water infrastructure. 
  • Why are prices going up this time? The latest price increase is due to rising operating costs and heavier investment in water infrastructure. The cost of producing and supplying water has gone up substantially since the last price revision, PUB said.

Electricity, Gas & Water prices to increase

Expect to pay more for your electricity come Saturday (Apr 1).
 From Apr 1 to Jun 30, electricity tariffs will increase by an average of 6.1% or 1.20 cents per kWh compared to the previous quarter.

For households, the electricity tariff will increase from 20.20 to 21.39 cents per kWh. The average monthly electricity bill for families living in four-room HDB flats, for example, will increase by S$4.21, said SP Group in a press release issued on Friday.

The increase is “largely” due to the cost of natural gas for electricity generation which increased by 12% compared to the previous quarter, said SP Group who reviews the electricity tariffs quarterly based on guidelines set by the Energy Market Authority.


29/09/2023

Final supermoon of 2023

Illuminates Singapore sky on Mid-Autumn Festival
The Harvest Moon sighted at Woodlands Avenue 5 on Sep 29, 2023. (Photo: A Kannan)

Those celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival were in for a treat as the last supermoon of 2023 was seen over Singapore on Friday (Sep 29) night. Coinciding with the festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, the fourth supermoon began rising at 7pm from the east.

As the full moon occurs closest to the September equinox every year, with corn harvested around the same time, this full moon is also referred to as the Harvest Moon or Corn Moon, according to Facebook group Stargazing Singapore on Thursday. Despite cloudy conditions during moonrise, CNA reader A Kannan managed to capture photos of the Harvest Moon from Woodlands. He said that the moon became "'clearly visible" at about 8pm, with the "occasional passing clouds shrouding the moon". Mr Kannan also had the chance to see Jupiter above the moon at about 6am on Friday.

He noted the moon was about 361,800km away from Earth when the photos were taken, adding that it was "closer, brighter and bigger than the normal moon we see during other months". The moon, which is expected to set on Saturday morning at about 7.20am, will appear "reddish", said Mr Kannan.


Last supermoon of 2023, Jupiter and Saturn to be visible over Singapore on Sep 29
A super Blue Moon rises behind Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on Aug 31, 2023. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

Remember to look up on Friday (Sep 29) evening for the fourth and final supermoon of the year. Its appearance will coincide with the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

As the full moon occurs closest to the autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere, it will also be referred to as a Harvest Moon, the Science Centre Observatory said on Monday. "For several evenings during this period, the gibbous moon rises earlier than in other months. A moon is described as gibbous when the moon is more than half-full, but not quite fully illuminated, when looked at from the Earth's perspective," it added. "This results in (an) abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening, which traditionally provided greater aid to farmers and crews harvesting their summer crops."

Supermoons occur when the moon's orbit is closer to the Earth, making the moon appear larger and brighter than usual. The phenomenon has already been seen three times in 2023 – the Buck Moon in July as well as the Sturgeon Moon and the Blue Moon in August were all supermoons.

related:


Zhong Qiu Jie 中秋节 Mooncake Festival 2023


Mid-Autumn Festival 2023

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a popular observance in Singapore amongst those of ethnic Chinese heritage. It is not a public holiday, but malls nevertheless decorate and sell special food items at this time of year. Here and in other countries, this day is also known as Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, on a full moon day. This is always in mid-fall, sometime in later September or early October. Moon cakes are the food of choice on this holiday. These cakes are filled with sweet-tasting bean paste or with lotus seeds or another filling. Originally, the Festival was closely connected with making offerings to the moon god to get a bountiful harvest. Today, most are not moon worshipers, but the cake is still shaped as a moon for that reason.

In Singapore, many families go out to see the various Chinese lantern and other lights displays at night during the festival. Kids love Mid-Autumn Festival because they not only get to eat tasty moon cakes, but also they get to hold the strings of floating, fully lit lanterns as they walk about town with their parents. Traditionally, lanterns were lit with wax candles and constructed of colourful Chinese paper. But today you will also see make-shift lanterns made of cellophane bags and hangar wires and store-bought versions lit by battery power and shaped like popular cartoon characters.

read more

Mooncake is a symbol of family reunion for its round shape.

Pomelo is not only round in shape, its Chinese name, you zi, is also a homophone for words that mean "bless the son."
Image result for nuts eaten during mid-autumn festival
The tradition of eating taro on Mid-Autumn Festival dates back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) but the meaning of eating taro differs from different Chinese regions. One of them believes that eating taro during Mid-Autumn Festival can ward off the evil spirits.
Water Caltrop - A Kind of Nut Boiled and Eaten with Mooncakes

Final supermoon of 2023 illuminates Singapore sky on Mid-Autumn Festival
The Harvest Moon sighted at Woodlands Avenue 5 on Sep 29, 2023. (Photo: A Kannan)

Those celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival were in for a treat as the last supermoon of 2023 was seen over Singapore on Friday (Sep 29) night. Coinciding with the festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, the fourth supermoon began rising at 7pm from the east.

As the full moon occurs closest to the September equinox every year, with corn harvested around the same time, this full moon is also referred to as the Harvest Moon or Corn Moon, according to Facebook group Stargazing Singapore on Thursday. Despite cloudy conditions during moonrise, CNA reader A Kannan managed to capture photos of the Harvest Moon from Woodlands. He said that the moon became "'clearly visible" at about 8pm, with the "occasional passing clouds shrouding the moon". Mr Kannan also had the chance to see Jupiter above the moon at about 6am on Friday.

He noted the moon was about 361,800km away from Earth when the photos were taken, adding that it was "closer, brighter and bigger than the normal moon we see during other months". The moon, which is expected to set on Saturday morning at about 7.20am, will appear "reddish", said Mr Kannan.

28/09/2023

Singapore 2.8 billion$ money laundering probe

Update 10 Jun 2024: S$3b money laundering case wraps up with 10 convicted, jailed & deported
Su Wenqiang, Su Haijin, Wang Baosen. Su Baolin, Zhang Ruijin, Vang Shuiming, Chen Qingyuan, Lin Baoying, Wang Dehai, Su Jianfeng
  • Su Wenqiang - 1st to be convicted, sentenced to 13 mths & deported.
  • Su Haijin - 2nd to be convicted, sentenced to 14 mths & deported.
  • Wang Baosen - 3rd to be convicted, sentenced to 13 mths & deported.
  • Su Baolin - 4th to be convicted, sentenced to 14 mths & deported.
  • Zhang Ruijin - 5th to be convicted, sentenced to 15 mths.
  • Vang Shuiming - 6th to be convicted, sentenced to 13 mths & deported.
  • Chen Qingyuan - 7th to be convicted, sentenced to 15 mths.
  • Lin Baoying - 8th to be convicted, sentenced to 15 mths.
  • Wang Dehai - 9th to be convicted, sentenced to 16 mths.
  • Su Jianfeng - 10th to be convicted, sentenced to longest jail term of 17 mths.


Singapore $3b money laundering case
A Porsche 911 Targa vehicle seized by police at a residence of Su Jiafeng, one of the suspects in the S$2.8 billion money-laundering case, in Singapore, on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. Allegations have erupted that wealthy Chinese have been pouring ill-gotten gains into the Asian financial hub, in what the government itself describes as potentially one of the world’s largest money-laundering cases

Singapore on Tuesday sentenced the first person to plead guilty in the Southeast Asia island-state’s biggest money laundering scandal to a 13-month imprisonment. Cambodian national Su Wenqiang had faced 11 charges relating to forgery and laundering criminal proceeds. Public prosecutors went ahead with two counts of money laundering after an agreement to consider the remaining nine charges for sentencing.

The Singapore police said it has seized around 6 million Singapore dollars ($4.44 million) worth of assets from Su. According to court documents emailed to CNBC, this includes more than 2 million Singapore dollars in a bank account with United Overseas Bank, a Mercedes Benz, Chinese Moutai liquor and jewelry from Tiffany’s and Dior. Su was charged for laundering income from his part in abetting the operation of an illegal offshore remote gambling service out of the Philippines, which catered to mainland Chinese clients, according to court documents.

Su, 32, was arrested in August last year along with nine others of Chinese origin, in a case that has stunned many and raised doubts over Singapore’s reputation as a financial hub. Two suspects are still on the run. The value of all assets seized to date now exceeds more than 3 billion Singapore dollars, according to court documents.


Money laundering case: Assets frozen exceed $3b; 2 more suspects sought

The assets seized in Singapore’s largest money laundering case that saw 10 foreigners arrested are now worth more than $3 billion. Warrants of arrest and Interpol Red Notices have been issued against two more suspects, Su Yongcan and Wang Huoqiang.

The police said on Jan 19 that they have issued prohibition of disposal orders on another 55 properties and 15 vehicles. An additional 189 luxury bags, 34 pieces of jewellery and five luxury watches were also seized. This now brings the assets confiscated by the authorities to 207 properties, 77 vehicles, more than $1.45 billion in bank accounts, and more than $76 million in cash of various currencies. Thousands of bottles of liquor and wine, cryptocurrency worth more than $38 million, 68 gold bars, 483 luxury bags, 169 branded watches and 580 pieces of jewellery have also been seized in total.

Separately, warrants of arrest and Interpol Red Notices have been issued against two more suspects – Cambodian nationals Su Yongcan, 33, and Wang Huoqiang, 29 – for money laundering offences. A Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action. The police said the pair had left Singapore before arrests related to the case began on Aug 15, 2023.


Porsche, 2 Rolls-Royces among 4 cars seized from Bukit Timah bungalow in $2.8b money laundering case
(Clockwise from top left) A red Rolls-Royce Dawn, a red Porsche 911 Targa, a white Toyota Alphard and a black Rolls-Royce Cullinan were seized from a good class bungalow in Third Avenue on Oct 25. ST PHOTOS: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Four luxury cars linked to Singapore’s worst money laundering case were towed out of a good class bungalow (GCB) in Third Avenue, off Bukit Timah Road, on Wednesday.

At around 2.30pm, a red Rolls-Royce Dawn, a black Rolls-Royce Cullinan, a red Porsche 911 Targa and a white Toyota Alphard were removed by the police from the sprawling complex of more than 19,000 sq ft.

The cars are worth over $4.7 million, according to an affidavit filed in September by a Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) officer. The GCB is rented by Vanuatu national Su Jianfeng, 35, who is one of the 10 accused in the case.


Two good class bungalows linked to $2.8b money laundering probe vacated
A good class bungalow (GCB) in Nassim Road (left) previously rented by alleged money laundering offender Su Baolin, and movers at Vang Shuiming's GCB in Bishopsgate on Oct 18. ST PHOTOS: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF

A large landed property near Orchard Road, which was previously leased to alleged money laundering offender Su Baolin, is back on the market at $120,000 a month.

The good class bungalow (GCB) in Nassim Road was advertised for rent on Oct 16. The hilltop five-bedroom, five-bathroom residence sits on 15,000 sq ft of land, and features a swimming pool that snakes through most of the second floor.

Su Baolin, 41, a Cambodian national, was one of the 10 foreigners arrested on Aug 15 in a Commercial Affairs Department-led anti-money laundering operation that involved about 400 officers. The accused are all originally from China.


$2.8b money laundering case: Luxury yacht linked to 2 accused listed for sale at more than $21m
The 38m-long Benetti Fast 125 yacht sails under the Cook Islands’ flag, according to brochures put online by the brokers. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

A luxury yacht linked to the $2.8b money-laundering bust in Singapore has been listed for sale at US$15.5m ($21.2 million).

Checks by The Straits Times showed a number of yacht brokers based overseas had advertised the vessel named “Family” for sale from Sept 13, less than a month after nine men and one woman were arrested on Aug 15 in an operation led by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD).



Ministerial statement - Josephine Teo on Singapore’s anti-money laundering regime

Singapore has in place a robust anti-money laundering regime and is held in high regard internationally for its strong, principled and no-nonsense approach to taking down individuals who break the laws, said Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo.

In a ministerial statement in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 3), she said Singapore has strengthened its regime and updated its prevention frameworks to keep pace with the evolving risks and typologies of money laundering and strengthened its capabilities to proactively detect and take firm enforcement action. Updating the House on the ongoing investigations into a multi-billion-dollar money laundering case, she said the case is a reminder that even the most stringent preventive measures can be circumvented by determined criminals.

But it also shows that Singapore’s system is able to detect suspicious individuals and activities and has the resolve and capabilities to track them down and take them to task. Mrs Teo said the Government has been undertaking ongoing reviews in various sectors to tighten the anti-money laundering regime. “Learning from this case, we will consider further measures to strengthen our regime,” she said. Second Minister for Finance Indranee Rajah will be leading an inter-ministerial committee involving the relevant sectoral regulators, she said.


Ministerial statement - Indranee Rajah on anti-money laundering measures in the real estate and corporate sectors

A new inter-ministerial committee will be set up to review and strengthen Singapore’s anti-money laundering regime. Chaired by Second Minister for Finance and National Development Indranee Rajah, it will comprise political office-holders from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as well as four ministries - Home Affairs, Law, Manpower and Trade and Industry.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 3), Ms Indranee said the committee will examine the current system, keeping in mind lessons learned from a recent multi-billion-dollar money laundering case in Singapore, and aim to keep the regime up to date with increasingly sophisticated crimes.

The review will focus on four main areas:
  • First, how to better prevent corporate structures from being abused by money launderers.
  • Second, how financial institutions can enhance their controls and collaborate more effectively with each other and authorities to guard against and flag suspicious transactions.
  • Third, how other players in the system, like corporate service providers, real estate agents and precious stones and metals dealers, can help to better guard against money laundering risks.
  • Fourth, how to centralise and strengthen monitoring capabilities across Government agencies to better detect suspicious activities.

Ministerial statement - Alvin Tan on MAS’ role in fighting money laundering

One or more of the accused in a multi-billion-dollar money laundering case in Singapore may have been linked to single family offices (SFOs) that were awarded tax incentives here. Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Board Member Alvin Tan said this in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 3). He said the SFOs in question had been subject to checks, such as showing proof that they had opened accounts with financial institutions (FIs) in Singapore and being screened by MAS itself.

At the point of application, said Mr Tan, “no adverse information of note” on these entities had surfaced. MAS is reviewing its processes and had already announced plans to strengthen surveillance and defence against potential money laundering risks posed by SFOs. This could include ensuring that all SFOs, whether they apply for tax incentives or not, are subject to stringent anti-money laundering controls. Meanwhile, a digital platform allowing FIs to share information on suspicious customers is on track to be launched by the second half of next year. MAS is working on this with six major banks in Singapore. They will be allowed to share information from COSMIC with their local and overseas affiliates. However, due to the sensitivity of the information involved, there are currently no plans to extend COSMIC to entities beyond the financial sector or for data to be shared directly with FIs overseas or with international counterparts.

Mr Tan said efforts to raise awareness, sharpen detection and tighten collaboration across the financial industry and Government have borne fruit, with the money laundering case under discussion being a prime example. He said FIs detected many illicit activities and filed numerous suspicious transaction reports on persons of interest before the case broke publicly. These helped law enforcement agencies identify and take action against those individuals. Tainted funds were also swiftly identified and seized - in some instances, very shortly before there were attempts to move them. Mr Tan said MAS is conducting detailed supervisory reviews and inspections of the FIs closely involved in this case and will “take a critical look” at how the suspects were able to access financial services in Singapore.


32 parliamentary questions on money laundering case to be answered in ministerial statement in Oct

In a rare move, 32 questions on the $1.8 billion money laundering case submitted in Parliament on Monday will be deferred and answered in a ministerial statement in October. The questions were supposed to be addressed on Monday.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Sun Xueling told Parliament that many MPs had filed questions on the anti-money laundering operation conducted by the police and on Singapore’s anti-money laundering framework.

She said the queries covered a wide range of issues across several ministries. She sought permission from Speaker of Parliament Seah Kian Peng for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), together with other ministries, to respond to the queries comprehensively in a ministerial statement in October.

related:


Oct 3 Parliament sitting: 3 ministerial statements on combatting money laundering in light of S$2.4b case

How Singapore combats money laundering is set to dominate proceedings at the parliamentary sitting on Tuesday (Oct 3) as three political office holders will be delivering ministerial statements on the issue.

This came after the arrest of 10 foreigners in one of Singapore's largest anti-money laundering probes, which prompted more than 20 Members of Parliament (MPs) to file dozens of questions related to the matter. Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Home Affairs, told the House in September that the questions would be deferred and answered in a ministerial statement in October.

Scheduled to address the House on this are Mrs Josephine Teo, Second Minister for Home Affairs, Ms Indranee Rajah, Second Minister for Finance and National Development, and Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Trade and Industry. Mr Tan will be speaking on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong.

related:


Assets seized or frozen in anti-money laundering probe surpass S$2.8 billion in value
Assets seized or frozen include monies in bank accounts amounting to more than S$1.45 billion and cash of more than S$76 million. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

The total value of assets seized or frozen in Singapore’s largest anti-money laundering probe now stands at more than S$2.8 billion, up from S$2.4 billion. These include 152 properties and 62 vehicles with a total estimated value of more than S$1.24 billion; monies in bank accounts exceeding S$1.45 billion; cash of more than S$76 million; and cryptocurrencies of more than S$38 million.

The police have also seized thousands of bottles of liquor and wine, 68 gold bars, 294 luxury bags, 164 luxury watches and 546 pieces of jewellery. The 152 properties issued with prohibition-of-disposal orders include 94 residential properties, of which 34 were uncompleted, 53 commercial properties and five industrial ones.

These figures were revealed in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 3), during which Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo, Second Minister for Finance and National Development Indranee Rajah, and Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan delivered statements addressing the case. “This case is one of the largest anti-money laundering operations, not just in Singapore, but likely in the world,” said Teo.


Singapore money laundering case soars further to over S$2.8 billion
More than S$2.8 billion in cash & assets have now been seized or frozen in Singapore's largest money laundering case to date

Over S$2.8 billion worth of assets are now involved, making it likely one of the largest anti-money laundering operations in the world, Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo tells parliament.

Since it first emerged in the public eye, the value of assets seized or frozen has snowballed to over S$2.8 billion (US$2.03 billion) – almost triple the original S$1 billion worth of luxury cars, houses, cash and other assets that were initially thrown up. It is now one of the largest anti-money laundering operations not just in Singapore but likely the world, Mrs Teo said.

She then gave an update on the total value of assets seized or issued with prohibition of disposal orders. The police had last said on Sep 20 that the total value stood at more than S$2.4 billion. Since then, they have conducted “further operations and extensive investigations”, bringing the figure up to more than S$2.8 billion, said Mrs Teo. What the authorities have seized so far include:
  • Prohibition of disposal orders issued against 152 properties and 62 vehicles with a total estimated value of more than S$1.24 billion
  • Thousands of bottles of liquor and wine
  • More than S$1.45 billion seized from bank accounts
  • More than S$76 million in cash, including foreign currencies
  • More than S$38 million in cryptocurrencies
  • 68 gold bars
  • 294 luxury bags
  • 164 luxury watches
  • 546 pieces of jewellery

Singapore money laundering case snowballs further to over S$2.4 billion in assets seized or frozen
The value of assets seized or frozen in Singapore's largest money laundering case now exceeds S$2.4 billion, the police said on Sep 20, 2023. (Photos: Singapore Police Force)

A massive, transnational money laundering case that surfaced in Singapore has further swelled to now involve over S$2.4 billion (US$1.8 billion) in seized or frozen assets.

This more than doubles the original S$1 billion in total value of luxury cars, houses, cash and other assets thrown up in mid-August after Singapore police raided multiple locations across the island and arrested 10 foreigners. In early September prosecutors in court then updated the figure to S$1.8 billion. The police on Wednesday (Sep 20) said it had conducted further operations where additional assets were seized and issued with prohibition of disposal orders.

This brings the total value of assets seized or issued with prohibition of disposal orders to more than S$2.4 billion, said the police, adding that investigations are ongoing. The 10 suspects - all of Chinese origin but with nationalities and passports ranging from Cyprus to Cambodia - have thus far been denied bail. At least two of them are said to be wanted by police in China, and an additional 24 suspects were also named in a Law Ministry notice sent out in late August.


Singapore money-laundering probe not done ‘at the behest of China

Singapore’s raid on alleged Fujian-origin suspects involved in the country’s largest money-laundering scandal was not done “at the behest of China”, a senior official said on Tuesday, amid continuing speculation that Beijing’s assent was sought for the probe.

“Singapore does not need another country to tell us what to do to enforce our laws, nor will we do anything unless it is in our own interests,” Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo told lawmakers in parliament.

“In this case, we started investigations because we suspected that offences had been committed in Singapore. Once we confirmed our suspicions, we moved,” she said. Minister Josephine Teo dispelled as ‘completely untrue’ reports that Singapore went ahead with the raid soon after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit in August.


What we know so far of the S$1 bln money laundering probe
Prosecutors have described the massive money laundering case as “one of the most serious, if not the worst” in Singapore’s history. Image: SCMP

Singapore’s US$1.3 billion money laundering scandal is the talk of the Asian financial world, and it could further balloon to involve more suspects and assets, going by the latest comments from prosecutors and officials.

As was the case with Malaysia’s 1MDB financial scandal, what has caught the public’s attention has been the types of luxury items and properties seized. Included in the laundry list of seized assets are Singapore’s ultra-exclusive “good-class bungalows”, Bentley cars, Patek Philippe watches and even “Bearbricks” – collectible figurines of between 7cm and 70cm in length that can cost thousands of dollars.

So far, 10 foreign nationals aged between 31 and 44 have been arrested, charged and remain in custody amid ongoing investigations. All 10 are of mainland Chinese origin, from the eastern province of Fujian, but hold various foreign passports. They are alleged to have ties with organised crime. Here are the key things you need to know about what prosecutors say is one of the most serious, if not the worst, money-laundering case in Singapore:
  • Suspects and their seized assets - Of the 10 suspects, three are current Chinese nationals: a 44-year-old man named Zhang Ruijin, a 43-year-old woman named Lin Baoying and a 31-year-old man named Wang Baosen. The remaining seven hold different primary passports, but all have their origins in Fujian. They were also found with Chinese passports.
  • How has it affected Singapore’s reputation? - While there have been suggestions that Singapore’s ultra-clean reputation may have taken a hit from the case, observers have also emphasised that it was investigated by authorities of their own volition.
  • What do Singaporeans think? - The case has rekindled an already intense debate among locals about the island nation’s yawning income and wealth gap. On social media, many juxtaposed the upper-class lifestyles of the 10 suspects – parsing images of the seized Bentleys and homes – with their own struggles amid the rising cost of living.
  • What has the government said? - The government has come out to defend the country’s financial system and strongly refuted online speculation that the investigation was conducted at the behest of Beijing, following a recent visit by its foreign minister Wang Yi days before police launched their island-wide raids.

$1b worth of GCBs, cars and assets seized in one of Singapore's biggest anti-money laundering operations
More than $23 million in cash was seized by the police in the raids. PHOTO: Singapore Police Force

In one of the biggest anti-money laundering operations here, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) rounded up a group of foreigners who had amassed about $1 billion worth of assets here. The assets, which included properties, luxury cars and goods, were either seized, frozen or issued with prohibition of disposal orders. The group lived in good class bungalows (GCBs) and high-end condominiums, and owned luxury cars.

The police said it received information of possible illicit activities, including suspected forged documents used to substantiate the source of funds in Singapore bank accounts. On Tuesday, the police conducted a massive islandwide blitz, hitting several GCBs and high-end condos across Singapore simultaneously to nab several of the suspects. The areas raided included Tanglin, Bukit Timah, Orchard Road, Sentosa and River Valley.

Ten people, including a woman, were arrested and charged on Wednesday night. They are aged 31 to 44, and are suspected to be involved in offences of forgery, money laundering and resisting arrest. Another 12 are assisting in investigations, while eight more people are currently on the run and have been placed on a wanted list.


S$1 billion in houses, cars, money and goods seized or frozen in one of Singapore's largest money laundering probes
About S$1 billion (US$736 million) in assets, including vehicles and luxury goods, have been seized amid an ongoing Singapore Police Force (SPF) probe into money laundering and forgery activities

About S$1 billion (US$736 million) in assets, including properties, vehicles, luxury goods and gold bars, have been seized or frozen in one of Singapore's largest police probes into money laundering and forgery offences.

Ten people, aged between 31 and 44, were charged in court on Wednesday (Aug 16) night in connection with the investigation. They are of Cypriot, Turkish, Chinese, Cambodian and Ni-Vanuatu nationalities. Those who were not of Chinese nationality were found to be in possession of foreign passports believed to be issued by China and other countries. All 10 people have been remanded. Twelve others are assisting with investigations while eight more are wanted by the police.

“These persons are believed to have connections among themselves. All the persons involved are neither Singapore citizens nor permanent residents," said SPF. The nine men and one woman were arrested in simultaneous raids at multiple locations islandwide, including at Good Class Bungalows (GCB) and condominiums. According to the police, some of the suspects lived in GCBs in the Holland and Nassim Road area.


Wives of 10 arrested in money laundering case among suspects linked to probe
In a subsequent hearing in court, the prosecution revealed that the suspects include wives and relatives of the 10 accused people (above). ST ILLUSTRATIONS: CEL GULAPA

Investigators are having a closer look at the people linked to the foreigners arrested here in a money laundering probe, with the police digging into assets they own and businesses they are involved in.

The Ministry of Law had sent a notice on Aug 27 to dealers of precious metals and stones to check against their records for possible suspicious transactions by these 24 individuals.

In a subsequent hearing in court, the prosecution revealed that the suspects include wives and relatives of the 10 accused:
  • Su Yongcan
  • Wang Shuiting
  • Wang Ruiyan
  • Wu Qin
  • Ma Ning
  • Chen Qiuyan
  • Wang Qiujiao
  • Su Caihuang
  • He Huifang
  • Su Lihong

Singapore arrests 10 foreigners, seizes S$1 bln assets in money laundering probe

Singapore police have arrested 10 foreigners for alleged money laundering and forgery offences, in a case involving about S$1 billion ($737 million) of cash, properties, luxury cars and other assets.

The police conducted simultaneous raids on Tuesday across the city-state to arrest the suspects, their statement said on Wednesday. Prohibition of disposal orders were issued against 94 properties and 50 vehicles, with a total estimated value of more than S$815 million. Other seizures included bank accounts, cash, luxury bags, jewellery, watches, electronic devices and some documents with information on virtual assets.

The foreigners were aged between 31 and 44, and their nationalities include Chinese, Turkish, Cypriot, Cambodian and Ni-Vanuatu, Singapore police said. In a separate statement, the Singapore central bank said it has been "in touch with the financial institutions (FIs) where the potentially tainted funds have been identified. Supervisory engagements with these FIs are ongoing", without naming the FIs.

Who are the 10 foreigners arrested in Singapore's massive S$1 billion money laundering crackdown?
Branded bags, watches and jewellery were among some of the goods seized by the police. (Photo: Singapore Police Force)

Ten people of Cypriot, Turkish, Chinese, Cambodian and Ni-Vanuatu nationalities were charged on Wednesday (Aug 16) night after police conducted simultaneous raids across Singapore as part of a probe into money laundering and forgery offences. The 10 were arrested on Tuesday at their residences in areas such as Sentosa Cove, Tanglin, Orchard, Holland and River Valley.

The raids took place at Good Class Bungalows (GCB), condominiums and a landed property. More than 400 police officers from various divisions were involved in what was one of the largest anti-money laundering operations conducted by Singapore authorities. The police said in a news release on Wednesday evening that nine men and one woman, aged between 31 and 44, were arrested for their suspected involvement in money laundering and forgery offences, as well as for resisting arrest.

One of them, a 40-year-old man, had jumped out of the second-floor balcony of a GCB in an attempt to flee the authorities. He was found hiding in a drain. Twelve others are assisting with investigations while eight more are wanted by the police. About S$1 billion (US$736 million) in properties, cars, bank accounts, cash and goods were seized, frozen or issued with prohibition of disposal orders in connection with the investigation. Their ages, nationalities and charges:
  • Su Haijin, a 40-year-old Cyprus national, arrested in a GCB along Ewart Park in the Holland area. Charged with one count of resisting lawful apprehension.
  • Vang Shuiming, a 42-year-old Turkiye national, arrested in a GCB along Bishopsgate in the Tanglin area. Charged with one count of using a forged document.
  • Zhang Ruijin, a 44-year-old China national and Lin Baoying, a 43-year-old China national, arrested in a bungalow along Pearl Island at Sentosa Cove. Both charged with one count each of forgery for the purpose of cheating.
  • Su Baolin, a 41-year-old Cambodia national, arrested in a GCB along Nassim Road. Charged with one count of using a forged document.
  • Su Jianfeng, a 35-year-old Ni-Vanuatu national, arrested in a GCB along Third Avenue near Bukit Timah. Charged with one count of money laundering.
  • Chen Qingyuan, a 33-year-old Cambodia national, arrested in a condominium along Leonie Hill Road in the River Valley area. Charged with one count of money laundering.
  • Wang Dehai, a 34-year-old Cyprus national, arrested in a condominium along Paterson Hill in the Orchard area. Charged with one count of money laundering.
  • Wang Baosen, a 31-year-old China national, arrested in a condominium along Tomlinson Road in the Tanglin area. Charged with one count of money laundering.
  • Su Wenqiang, a 31-year-old Cambodia national, arrested in a GCB along Lewis Road in the Bukit Timah area. Charged with one count of money laundering.

105 properties linked to suspects include Sentosa Cove bungalows, condominium units

Properties linked to 10 foreign nationals arrested in a S$1 billion (US$736 million) money laundering probe included seven detached bungalows in Sentosa Cove, 79 condominium units and 19 commercial spaces.

In an update on Friday (Aug 18), the police said that 105 properties have now been issued with prohibition of disposal orders in connection with the probe, up from the 94 initially announced on Wednesday. The 79 condominium units included 19 units still under construction. The properties were valued at an estimated S$831 million.

"These properties are owned by the persons under investigation (who either had been arrested or are wanted by the Police), their spouses, or companies that are linked to these persons under investigation or their spouses," police said in an update. However, they noted that the Good Class Bungalows (GCB) in which the suspects were arrested are not owned by them. "These GCBs are not part of the 105 properties issued with prohibition of disposal orders," they said. "The Police have neither seized nor issued prohibition of disposal orders against any GCBs in relation to this case."

The suspects lived in residences located in areas such Sentosa Cove, Tanglin, Orchard, Holland and River Valley, police said on Wednesday. About S$1 billion (US$736 million) in assets - including properties, bank accounts, cars, cash and goods - have been seized, frozen or issued with prohibition of disposal orders in connection with the investigation.


Suspects in billion-dollar money laundering case in S’pore allegedly linked to China gambling groups
The 10 individuals arrested in Singapore were charged on Aug 16 with offences including forgery and money laundering. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

Several foreigners arrested last Tuesday in Singapore’s biggest anti-money laundering operation are allegedly linked to individuals who were investigated in China for illegal gambling activities.

Vang Shuiming, who is facing a forgery charge here, is said to be a known associate of eight individuals on the run from the authorities in China, which had uncovered an illegal gambling syndicate in May 2022.

The eight fugitives – Wang Shuiting, Shi Wenhui, Wang Zhiqiang, Jia Xueliang, Wang Jinwang, Wang Zaiyuan, Su Weijie and Huang Yijiao – have been urged to return to assist in a probe which saw 131 people arrested in China and more than 10 million yuan (S$1.9 million) seized.


Who are the 10 charged after the billion-dollar anti-money laundering raid in Singapore?
Five of the people arrested include (clockwise, from top left) Su Haijin, Su Baolin, Wang Dehai, Su Jianfeng and Su Wenqiang. PHOTOS: WHATSAPP, INTERNET, CHINA POLICE WEBSITE

One of the 10 people arrested in one of Singapore’s biggest anti-money laundering operations had lived in a sprawling good class bungalow (GCB) in Ewart Park that housed a golf simulator and a high-end karaoke room. Su Haijin, a Cypriot national, had moved into the GCB near Holland Road in 2021, where the monthly rent was about $80,000 at the time, said a source close to the family.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that the 40-year-old began renting a unit at Silversea condominium in Marine Parade some time in 2017. Two years later, Su, his wife and three children – two sons and a daughter – moved into a duplex penthouse at Gramercy Park on Grange Road. He is linked to the purchase of at least three units in the same upscale development. Su’s wife gave birth to a fourth child earlier in 2023.

While an Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) search shows his listed address as an apartment in Gramercy Park, Su was arrested in Ewart Park, at a sprawling bungalow with a swimming pool and a golf putting green in the garden. He is said to have jumped out of a window to try to escape as police raided the residence, and was found hiding in a nearby drain, where he was arrested.


All 10 charged in billion-dollar money laundering case held S’pore employment or dependant’s passes
Ten foreigners – nine men and one woman – were charged on Aug 16 with offences including money laundering, forgery and resisting arrest. PHOTO: ST FILE

All 10 of the foreign nationals charged on Aug 16 over their suspected involvement in offences including forgery, money laundering and resisting arrest held either an Employment Pass (EP) or a Dependant’s Pass (DP).

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it is in contact with the police on investigations into the foreign nationals. “These individuals held EPs and DPs. We will take the necessary action against them if serious offences are disclosed, in consultation with the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.”

The foreign nationals, aged between 31 and 44, were arrested on Tuesday morning, following an islandwide anti-money laundering raid by more than 400 officers that saw about $1 billion in assets seized or frozen. They are believed to be connected to one another, and no one is a Singaporean or permanent resident. Of the 10, three are Chinese nationals. As for the remaining seven, three are Cambodian, two are Cypriot, one is Turkish, and one is a Vanuatu national.


Man arrested in billion-dollar anti-money laundering raid was director of No Signboard Holdings
A photo of Su Haijin, as shared on social media. Su was arrested on Aug 15

The man who allegedly jumped from a bungalow to evade arrest in an anti-money laundering blitz linked to $1 billion in cash and assets was a director of No Signboard Holdings.

Su Haijin, 40, a Cypriot national, was a director of the restaurant operator from October 2021 to June 2022, a search with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) revealed. The company’s 2021 annual report, filed last October, lists Su as holding a 20 per cent stake in the company.

The report said he resigned voluntarily as a non-executive director to focus on other commitments. A spokesman for No Signboard Holdings told The Straits Times on Thursday that Su was a non-executive director at the company. She said he was not involved in the company’s business and operations, and did not participate in any of the board’s meetings or decision-making processes.


Who are the 10 charged after the billion-dollar anti-money laundering raid in Singapore?
The 10 accused are (clockwise from top left) Su Baolin, Su Haijin, Chen Qingyuan, Su Wenqiang, Lin Baoying, Zhang Ruijin, Wang Dehai, Su Jianfeng, Vang Shuiming and Wang Baosen. ST ILLUSTRATIONS: CEL GULAPA
  • Su Baolin - The 41-year-old Su Baolin, who holds a Cambodian passport, is a shareholder of construction firm Sentosa Project. He was arrested on Tuesday when police raided a GCB in Nassim Road where he lived. He was charged on Wednesday with using a forged document to cheat Citibank.
  • Su Haijin - Cypriot national Su, 41, was initially set to plead guilty this week on Thursday. Both prosecution and defence confirmed that his plea will go ahead as planned. He initially faced two charges of resisting arrest on Aug 15, 2023, and possessing about S$4.06 million in benefits from illegal remote gambling offences in a UOB account around August 2023.
  • Chen Qingyuan - The Cambodian national, 33, was arrested at a condominium in Leonie Hill Road in the River Valley area. He was charged with money laundering. Chen, who was found in possession of foreign passports believed to be issued by China and Dominica, is a director of HiCloud Technology, a business that offers cloud solutions and services.
  • Su Wenqiang - The 31-year-old Cambodian national was arrested at a GCB in Lewis Road in Bukit Timah. He was found with a foreign passport believed to be issued by China. The police seized items including cash of more than $600,000 and 11 pieces of jewellery.
  • Lin Baoying - Lin, 43, the only female, has a passport issued by Dominica. Lin is a shareholder of Ban Tian Yao Catering Management and Eagle77, which also offers management consultancy services. Lin, 43, has a passport issued by Dominica. Lin also holds a passport from Turkey.
  • Zhang Ruijin - A Chinese nationals, were arrested at a bungalow at Pearl Island in Sentosa Cove. Zhang also holds a passport believed to be from Saint Kitts and Nevis, an island country in the Caribbean. Zhang, 44, is a director of Golden Eagle Family Office, which offers management consultancy services.
  • Wang Dehai - Wang Dehai, a 34-year-old man listed as a Cypriot in charge sheets, faces two charges in Singapore. The first is for using criminal proceeds from a remote gambling service based in the Philippines but aimed at China users by buying a unit in The Marq at 8 Paterson Hill in November 2019. The second is for possessing S$2.3 million in Singapore in August this year which represents what he earned from the illegal remote gambling offences. Wang, who has passports from four countries, has been remanded since Aug 16, for more than two months. He is one of 10 people accused in a S$2.8 billion money laundering probe.
  • Su Jianfeng - Su Jianfeng, 35, a Vanuatu national, was handed a money-laundering charge after he was arrested in a GCB in Third Avenue in Bukit Timah. About $1.4 million in cash and 18 devices were seized from him. Su is a shareholder of a wholesale and distribution company called Ricco. The 35-year-old, who was slapped with a money-laundering charge, was arrested at a GCB in Third Avenue in Bukit Timah. The Vanuatu national has a foreign passport believed to be issued by China.
  • Vang Shuiming - Vang, who is also known as Wang Shuiming, is the director and shareholder of Zhuo Chi Technology. An Acra search showed that he was also the shareholder of Ming Xin (Singapore) Technologly, which was struck off in 2021. Vang, a Turkish national who has passports from Vanuatu and China, was arrested on Tuesday at 7B Bishopsgate, which is in the Tanglin area.
  • Wang Baosen - Chinese national Wang Baosen, 31, faces a money-laundering charge. Prohibition disposal orders were issued for a property, and a vehicle under his wife’s name and $100,000 in cash were seized.