Singapore has reaffirmed its commitment to combat illicit financial activities following the arrest of 10 foreign nationals involved in a widening money laundering probe. The individuals were apprehended last month on charges of illegally amassing assets worth over S$1.8 billion ($1.3 billion) in recent years. Heng Swee Kiat, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, emphasized the country’s determination to maintain trust in its financial center during the Forbes Global CEO Conference held in Singapore.
The investigation has implicated approximately ten banks, including DBS Group Holdings, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse, as the authorities continue to delve into the scandal. This crackdown represents one of Singapore’s largest money laundering cases and has exposed loopholes in the city-state’s financial regulation. The suspects involved in the case have been found to have acquired upscale properties, gold, luxury cars, cash, cryptocurrency, and exclusive golf club memberships.
Heng, a former finance minister and managing director of the central bank, highlighted the ongoing challenge financial centers worldwide face in thwarting money laundering activities due to the substantial movement of funds. He stressed the importance of vigilance and maintaining robust regulatory standards to preserve the integrity and effective functioning of Singapore’s finance sector.
As Singapore continues to attract increasing capital inflows and solidify its position as a top investment location globally, the government remains committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity in finance.