Cash, automobiles, and residences were seized in $735 million anti-money laundering operations in Singapore.
In one of the country’s largest anti-money laundering investigations, Singapore police seized over S$1 billion ($735 million; £578 million), including expensive residences, automobiles, and watches.
Among the things seized in the raids were gold bars, expensive handbags, wine, and S$23 million in cash.
During the operation, police apprehended ten people, all of them had foreign passports.
Large-scale raids like this are uncommon in Singapore, which has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
According to a statement issued by the Singapore Police Force, simultaneous raids were conducted across the city-state on Tuesday.
It also stated that 94 properties, including houses in some of the country’s most desirable neighborhoods, as well as 50 vehicles, had been seized.
Ten people, aged 31 to 44, were arrested on suspicion of money laundering and forgeries. According to police, those arrested held passports from China, Cambodia, Turkey, and Vanuatu.
According to the authorities, the group was “suspected of being involved in laundering the proceeds of crime from their overseas organized crime activities, including scams and online gambling.”
“We have zero tolerance for the use of Singapore as a safe haven for criminals,” said David Chew, director of the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force, which investigates white-collar crime.
“Our message to these criminals is straightforward: if we catch you, you will be arrested.” We will seize your ill-gotten gains if we locate them. We will prosecute you to the full extent of the law,” he continued.
Police said another 12 persons were aiding with the investigation, and eight more are on the wanted list.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s central bank and financial regulator, said it has been in contact with financial institutions “where potentially tainted funds have been identified.”
It also stated that it will take “firm action” against institutions that did not comply with official anti-money laundering regulations.