SINGAPORE: 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.
The haul of assets now includes bank accounts with a total estimated value of more than S$1.127 billion and cash – including in foreign currencies – of more than S$76 million. The initial amounts seized in August were over S$110 million and S$23 million respectively.
Police said they have taken control of 68 gold bars – up from two – as well as 294 luxury bags and 164 luxury watches.
They have also seized 546 pieces of jewellery, up from more than 270 previously, and 204 electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones.
There are now more than 110 properties and 62 vehicles – with a total estimated value of over S$1.242 billion – issued with prohibition of disposal orders in connection with the probe, up from 105 and 50 respectively.
Cryptocurrencies of more than S$38 million were also seized, along with bottles of liquor, wine and multiple ornaments.
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.
More than 20 lawmakers filed over 30 questions on the money laundering probe for Singapore’s latest parliament sitting on Monday.
But the Home Affairs Ministry said it would work with other ministries to respond through a ministerial statement in October instead.