Singapore Expands Money Laundering Probe To Chinese Clients

Singapore Expands Money Laundering Probe To Chinese Clients

Singapore has seized and frozen $1.8 billion worth of assets including cash, cryptocurrencies, and properties in its money laundering investigations since last month. Banks are now expanding money laundering probe to Chinese-born clients with other citizenships, expanding scrutiny over clients still holding crypto or involved in money laundering.

Singapore Drags Chinese-Born Clients in Money Laundering Probe

Singapore banks have tightened scrutiny on Chinese-born clients amid money laundering investigation, reported Bloomberg on September 21.

Banks are reviewing new account openings and transactions with clients of Chinese origin. In fact, a bank is closing some accounts of clients from countries including Cambodia, Cyprus, Turkey, Dominica, and Vanuatu. Meanwhile, other banks have started evaluating clients having citizenship from other countries, restricting funds from them. The process is taking longer as they review it case-by-case basis.

Singapore’s money laundering investigations saw 10 wealthy Chinese persons arrested and charged for violating anti-money laundering law. Police investigations revealed $1.8 billion worth of assets including cash, crypto, and properties seized so far. While they reside in Singapore, many are alleged to running illegal gambling businesses.

The high-profile scandal and arrests under the money laundering probe have impacted Singapore’s reputation as a wealth hub. Credit Suisse, Julius Baer Group, Citigroup Inc., Oversea-Chinese Banking, and United Overseas Bank have such clients. DBS Group Holdings spokesperson said:

“Singapore’s regulatory regime obliges all banks to manage anti-money laundering risk to high standards, but does not oblige them to deny banking facilities or services to clients – new or existing – of any specific origin merely because they hold certain passports. Other risk factors have to trigger before suspicion is warranted.”

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is having supervisory engagements with banks and other financial firms identified with the potentially tainted funds.

Also Read: Ethereum Whales and Buterin Move $31 Million in ETH

Crypto Investigations in Singapore

Singapore has started regulating crypto, but maintained its heightened scrutiny over the crypto industry. The Monetary Authority of Singapore is currently planning to include crypto in retail payments and worked with many firms such as JPMorgan and DBS Group.

Authorities in Singapore have awarded 190 Major Payment Institution licenses, with 11 going to Digital Payment Token companies. Ripple has also received in-principle approval of a Major Payment Institution Licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Also Read: X CEO Confirms Payments Integration Coming to the Platform, Will DOGE Get A Pie?

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Varinder has 10 years of experience in the Fintech sector, with over 5 years dedicated to blockchain, crypto, and Web3 developments. Being a technology enthusiast and analytical thinker, he has shared his knowledge of disruptive technologies in over 5000+ news, articles, and papers. With CoinGape Media, Varinder believes in the huge potential of these innovative future technologies. He is currently covering all the latest updates and developments in the crypto industry.

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