Money laundering and terror-financing have emerged as big menaces all across the globe. Apart from that, It has the capacity of destabilizing financial systems and financial institutions.
Recently, Singapore-based three local banks and casinos helped in fighting money laundering and terror financing. The banks and casinos’ efforts led to the seizure of a whopping S$25 million on Monday in the country. The banks and casinos received appreciation by the country’s police for their effort in fighting the big issues.
Nearly 32,660 suspicious transaction reports (STRs) were filed in the year 2018. Out of these 32,660 STRs, half were alerts raised by the banks with a huge percentage contributed by leading OCBC Bank, UOB, DBS Bank, according to the police.
Meanwhile, the two casinos managed to contribute roughly 20 percent of the entire STRs filed during the same tenure.
The collective efforts led by the popular banks and casinos helped in supporting the country’s police and led to the seizure of nearly S$25 million. The illegal amount was linked to several financial crimes like money laundering, cheating, criminal breach of trust.
It also helped in prosecuting people involved in various crimes; those convicted were sentenced to jail terms varying from 6 weeks to 9 years. These crimes will attract taxes, fines, and penalties of more than S$2 million.
Director of Commercial Affairs Department David Chew said,
“We would like to compliment the banks and casinos for their vigilance and commitment in detecting and reporting suspicious transactions. We look forward to continuing to try and do better, not just inquiry of the STRs but also in data analytics… With that, we will be able to analyse it faster, better, and then share it with the industry, so that we will have a virtuous cycle, improving the STR filings.”
The department of Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office analyzes the STRs and shares financial intelligence with Singapore-based law enforcement agencies. Singapore’s Financial Intelligence Unit is also headed by David Chew.
If somebody is aware of or has adequate reasons to suspect that any property may be linked to criminal activity during the course of their business, profession, or job, they will have to file an STR to the reporting office. It will lead to the seizure of the property or arrest of the individual associated with that property.
If an individual does not follow this course of action he may face a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to S$2,50,000. The concerned entities may bear a fine of up to s$500,000.