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HomesingaporeBillion-dollar money laundering case: Accused with Singapore properties worth S$115m may face...

Billion-dollar money laundering case: Accused with Singapore properties worth S$115m may face forgery charges

SINGAPORE: One of the 10 people charged in Singapore’s largest money-laundering probe may face additional forgery charges for allegedly submitting forged documents to banks to hide the source of funds received in his accounts.

This was revealed in an affidavit by the investigating officer (IO) tendered to the court in support of the prosecution’s objection to bail for Su Jianfeng on Wednesday (Oct 18).

Su, 35, is currently facing four charges of possessing illegal proceeds from illegal remote gambling offences, comprising S$17 million stored in three safe deposit boxes and S$550,903 in cash.

He was arrested on Aug 15 in a Good Class Bungalow along Third Avenue near Bukit Timah. His wife is also a witness in investigations, according to past court hearings.

Properties in Su or his wife’s name that were seized or frozen include: Cash of S$18.4 million, bank accounts containing S$66.1 million, cryptocurrency amounting to S$26.5 million, 13 properties worth S$115.3 million and four vehicles worth S$4.7 million.

He was denied bail on Wednesday, with District Judge Terence Tay saying he had not given a satisfactory explanation for how he got the money, that the investigations are still ongoing and that there are accomplices still at large.

Su has denied submitting forged documents to banks to hide where his funds came from.

But Mr Lye Jia He of the Singapore Police Force’s Commercial Affairs Department said in response to Su’s affidavit that based on his investigations, there is evidence that Su knowingly did so.

These forged documents include “falsified sales contracts, loan agreements and annual reports to banks, as supporting documents of the source of the monies received in Singapore bank accounts belonging to him and his wife”.

“Further forgery charges may be tendered against the accused once investigations are complete,” IO Lye added.

In his affidavit, Su had claimed that the sources of his wealth used to fund local and overseas properties are revenue earned as a property agent in a real estate brokerage, as well as revenue from cryptocurrency trading.

“I do not believe this is accurate,” IO Lye said, pointing out that based on investigations, Su’s primary source of wealth is his earnings from unlawful remote gambling offences.

“He has not been able to credibly explain any other source of income,” he added.

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IO Lye said the police have not been able to verify the authenticity of property transactions, which appear to have occurred in Dubai, and Su also did not provide any “credible evidence” of his employment with the real estate brokerage.

Su’s assertion about his purported cryptocurrency trading is “entirely uncorroborated” as well, he said, as Su had not provided any documentary proof of his alleged trading or the revenue earned from it.

FLIGHT RISK

In his affidavit, IO Lye also addressed the the accused’s argument that he is not a flight risk.

One of the reasons Su brought up was the fact that he is the CEO of a local company, An Xing Technology.

But according to IO Lye, investigations show that this is a shell company.

“Despite him being the CEO, the accused was ‘unclear’ about the company’s business activities,” he said. “He could not state the number of employees in the company, could not identify its employees, customers and suppliers, and could not even state where the company was located,” he said.

“He also could not provide any documents showing his employment or work done. It is therefore plain that the accused has little to no involvement in the company, or if the company is even a going concern.”

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IO Lye also noted that the company had only one corporate bank account – with CIMB – as of Aug 15. It had only three deposits of S$20,000, S$999,965 and S$999,965, all of which were made in 2022. No deposits were made in 2023.

The company held bank accounts with RHB and UOB previously, but these were closed in May 2023 and December 2021 respectively.

“In particular, I note that there were no deposits in the CIMB account between May 2, 2023 and Aug 31, 2023 (when the CIMB account was the company’s sole bank account),” he said. “Instead, there were only large withdrawals being made which depleted the CIMB account.”

The accused also claimed in his affidavit he has “strong ties to Singapore”, given that his parents, wife and three children are currently living here.

But IO Lye pointed out that Su, his wife, three children and parents are all foreign nationals.

“On his own account, the accused and his family have only been in Singapore since 2019 or 2020. His parents are residents in China and only arrived in Singapore on Aug 2, 2023, on a social visit pass.”

He added that Su, who is listed as a Ni-Vanuatu national in charge sheets, has the means to “relocate his family with ease”.

Addressing Su’s claims that his assets in Dubai “do not show that he is a flight risk”, IO Lye said that his “substantial wealth” overseas of more than S$12 million suggests that he has an incentive to flee Singapore.

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