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Singaporean police seize $735M in luxury cars, ‘crypto’ in money laundering case

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Law enforcement authorities in Singapore have seized close to SGD1 billion (US$735 million) in a crackdown on a money laundering operation, with digital assets, cash, and luxury cars among the seized items.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) confirmed it had arrested 10 people on charges of forgery, money laundering, and resistance to lawful apprehension. SPF is still pursuing eight others, while another 12 people are assisting with the probe.

All the arrested suspects were foreign nationals, the SPF said. The police seized 50 luxury vehicles and 94 properties worth an estimated $600 million. They also confiscated 35 related bank accounts holding $81 million, cash worth $17 million, luxury bags and watches, 120 electronic devices, over 270 pieces of jewelry, and two gold bars.

The police also seized 11 documents with information on digital assets from one of the arrested people: a 33-year-old Cambodian man. He will be charged with one count of money laundering. He faces imprisonment for ten years, a fine of $368,000, or both if convicted.

“We take the most serious stance against criminals laundering their criminal proceeds through our financial system. Our message to these criminals is simple—if we catch you, we will arrest you. If we find your ill-gotten gains, we will seize them. We will deal with you to the fullest extent of our laws,” commented David Chew, the Director of the SPF’s Commercial Affairs Department.

Singapore continues to be a digital asset and blockchain hub, with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on the frontline in regulating the sector. MAS, the country’s central bank, recently issued new guidelines to stablecoin issuers, requiring them to hold at least $740,000 in minimum base capital and provide redemption within five days.

Earlier this month, the bank launched a $111 million fund for projects building on cutting-edge technologies, including Web3.

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