Billion-Dollar Money Laundering Operation Busted

Author: Connor Campbell - Bullion & Economics Editor

Published: 31 Aug 2023

Last Updated: 1 Sep 2023


One of Singapore's largest-ever anti-money laundering operations has yielded success, resulting in charges against 10 individuals connected to the possession of over S$1 billion ($736 million) in assets linked to the money laundering case.

Key Takeaways

  • A major anti-money laundering operation in Singapore has led to charges against 10 individuals.
  • Over S$1 billion ($736 million) in assets linked to the money laundering case were identified.
  • Some apprehended individuals attempted to evade arrest, including one who jumped from a bungalow.
  • Dealers of precious metals were alerted by the Ministry of Law about 34 individuals suspected of engaging in illicit transactions.

How The Operation Unfolded

On August 15th, 2023, ten individuals were charged following an island-wide raid initiated by the Singapore police. This operation, involving over 400 officers from various departments, aimed to apprehend the foreigners involved. During the well executed raids around the Singapore area,  police found a wide range of assets involved in the crime. Singapore authorities seized or froze assets totalling approximately S$1 billion, including properties, cars, luxury items, cash, and multiple bank accounts, during these raids. 

Su Haijin, 40, a former director at 'No Signboard Holdings' from October 2021 to June 2022, a company renowned for selling seafood and self-proclaimed to have offered the No. 1 white pepper crab since 1981, was one of the ten men apprehended by police authorities. However, Su didn't surrender easily; he attempted to evade arrest by jumping from a bungalow before eventually being captured.

Who Are The 10 Individuals Charged?

Current Individuals Facing Legal Action

The ten individuals who have been charged are aged between 31 and 44 years old. They are: Su Haijin (40), Vang Shuiming (42), Zhang Ruijin (44), Lin Baoying (43), Su Baolin (41), Su Jianfeng (35), Chen Qingyuan (33), Wang Dehai (34), Wang Baosen (31), and Su Wenqiang (31). The foreign individuals were apprehended in Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) and condominiums throughout Singapore. The following individuals were charged with various offences, including forging documents, involvement in money laundering, and in one instance, resisting lawful apprehension.

Other Foreign Nationals Involved

It is believed that an additional 12 foreign nationals are involved in assisting with the investigation, while the police are seeking 8 more individuals who could be connected to the money laundering operation.

S$1 Billion In Assets Connected To Crime

Prohibition of disposal orders were imposed on 94 properties and 50 vehicles, collectively valued at over S$815 million, along with expensive ornaments and bottles of liquor and wine. Additionally, law enforcement authorities took control of over 35 linked bank accounts, collectively holding an estimated balance exceeding S$110 million. This action was taken both to aid ongoing investigations and to curb the potential dispersal of alleged proceeds from criminal activities.

Furthermore, the operation resulted in the confiscation of more than S$23 million in cash, an array of over 250 luxury bags and watches, in excess of 120 electronic devices including computers and mobile phones, more than 270 items of jewellery, two gold bars, and 11 documents containing details pertaining to virtual assets.

Billion-Dollar Money Laundering Has Entered Precious Metals 

Dealers of precious metals in Singapore have received a notice from the Ministry of Law, alerting them to 34 individuals who are suspected of engaging in illicit transactions. The notice, from the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism Division of MinLaw, identifies 34 individuals who may be involved in suspicious transactions. The list of suspects includes 10 who have already been prosecuted in court on August 16th, as well as four who are on China’s most wanted list for their criminal activities over the years. Another suspect is a registered shareholder of an investment company in Singapore, raising questions about the legitimacy of his business.

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