In what is being touted as Singapore‘s most significant money laundering operation, authorities reported a staggering increase in the total value of assets confiscated, now amounting to S$2.4 billion ($1.76 billion), according to a police announcement.
The huge inventory of seized assets now encompasses over S$76 million in cash, 68 gold bars, cryptocurrencies valued at more than S$38 million, over 110 properties, and 62 vehicles with a combined worth surpassing S$1.2 million.
The Singapore police, however, remained reticent about the specifics of the new seizures or the methodology used to locate them.
This revelation follows last month’s large-scale operation where 400 police officers orchestrated synchronized raids across Singapore, culminating in the arrest of 10 foreign nationals.
These individuals are suspected of “laundering the proceeds of their overseas organised crime activities, which reportedly include scams and online gambling.”
Initial seizures during these raids amounted to assets valued at S$1 billion. This tally comprised bank accounts, luxury real estate, cars, high-end accessories, and S$23 million in cash.
Additionally, two gold bars and multiple passports from countries including Cyprus, Cambodia, Dominica, China, Turkey, and Vanuatu were among the assets confiscated from the accused. By early September, the value of the seized assets climbed to S$1.8 billion, following leads that directed authorities to assets tucked away in Swiss banks.
This case has been the focal point of discussions in Singapore, a nation recognized for attracting massive investments and private wealth, especially in the post-pandemic era. Its reputation for maintaining low crime rates has made these revelations all the more shocking for its citizens.
Recent data from the central bank showcases a surge in Singapore’s financial growth, with assets under management ballooning by 16% in 2021 to reach S$5.4 trillion. This growth stands in comparison to the worldwide increase of 12%, which amounted to $112 trillion in the same period.