Published: 03 October 2023
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether the 10 foreigners who have been charged by the Police on 16 August 2023 for money-laundering activities in relation to the S$1 billion cash and assets seized are being or will be investigated for running any organised crime syndicate in or from Singapore and, if so, what facts have been established thus far in this regard.
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether there is a reporting requirement on landlords to lodge Suspicious Transaction Reports against their tenants if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that their tenants have access to ill-gotten wealth or gains; and (b) if so, whether the landlords of the private properties where foreign nationals holding passports of convenience were found to be residing when arrested by the Singapore Police on 15 August 2023 for suspected money-laundering related activities will be scrutinised for compliance with this requirement.
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether any additional steps will be taken to protect the real estate market in Singapore from being targeted by money launderers; and (b) if so, what are they.
Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether the Police will initiate investigations and arrest any person who is on the wanted list for criminal offences in another country but not listed under the wanted list of the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol).
Mr Derrick Goh: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) how Singapore compares to other global financial centres in terms of preventing and detecting anti-money laundering activities; and (b) whether the roll-out of the Collaborative Sharing of Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing (ML/TF) Information and Cases (COSMIC) digital platform will be accelerated and also extended to other industries to detect such illicit transactions across local industries beyond financial institutions.
Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs how is the MAS working with the relevant agencies to prevent movable assets like gemstones, jewellery and luxury watches from being used to launder money in Singapore.
Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs regarding the estimated value of about one billion dollars in assets seized in the recent case of money laundering activities (a) what are the measures to ensure that the restrictions under the relevant rules, such as the Precious Stones and Precious Metals (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Act 2019, are not circumvented; and (b) whether there will be tighter controls through importers, retailers and our checkpoints over movable assets like gemstones, jewellery and luxury watches into Singapore.
Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs in cases where seized assets are ordered by the court to be forfeited to the state, how are such assets used or liquidated for the benefit of the public or the Consolidated Fund.
Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) how many business entities are currently registered with ACRA as ‘dormant’ or any other status that indicates that they are not trading; (b) what is the number of such companies for each of the last ten years; (c) how often does ACRA check on the reason why such companies remain registered despite being inactive; and (d) whether there is a need to step up active enforcement so that Singapore-registered companies are not misused for money laundering or illegal activities.
Mr Don Wee: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether MAS shares information obtained from suspicious financial transactions with banks, the Immigration Checkpoint Authority of Singapore, and the Ministry of Manpower.
Mr Don Wee: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether information obtained from Suspicious Transaction Reports is shared with banks, the Immigration Checkpoint Authority of Singapore, and the Ministry of Manpower.
Mr Don Wee: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether ACRA pays attention or conduct surveillance on (i) foreign directors (ii) beneficial owners and (iii) local directors appearing to be nominee directors, where such appointment can be an indication of the misuse of legal entity; and (b) whether there is any public-private partnership between ACRA, CAD or MAS and the banks to share intelligence on emerging risks such as alerts or placement on undesirable lists.
Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development:
1. Mr Speaker, may I seek your permission to take Question Nos 1 to 12 together.
2. These queries relate to the recent anti-money laundering operations conducted by the Police and Singapore’s anti-money laundering framework. Mr Speaker, with your permission, MHA, together with various other Ministries, will respond to the queries comprehensively in the Ministerial Statement that will be delivered later today.