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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Bungalows and Cars Worth Millions Seized in Singapore Money Laundering Case

The most exclusive neighborhoods in the city-state are where you’ll find the most lavish landed properties — the good-class bungalows or GCBCs. They aren’t for sale to just anyone, of course. You must have a particular wealth or status to consider living here, especially if you’re buying one along Nassim Road, where mansions reportedly sell for tens to hundreds of millions of dollars.

As one of the most desirable addresses in the country, these mansions are coveted by celebrities and the wealthy alike. But you’d need help finding a clear photo of any of them, as these bungalows often sit behind dense foliage and trees. It’s not surprising, as residents would want to enjoy the privacy of this coveted address.

Singapore’s police said they had seized a total of S$1 billion ($734.32 million) in assets, including plush bungalows in the most sought-after addresses, bundles of cash, luxury cars, jewelry, handbags, and gold bars, as part of investigations into money laundering and forgery. The suspects, aged between 31 and 44, were arrested on suspicion of money laundering and forgery offenses, according to a police statement. They were allegedly laundering proceeds from overseas organized crime activities, including scams and online gambling. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has also frozen 35 related bank accounts with an estimated value of more than S$23 million, along with cash, luxury bags and watches, jewelry, electronic devices, and documents containing information on virtual assets, the statement added.

In one of its most prominent money-laundering cases, 400 officers fanned out across the island on Tuesday. They launched simultaneous raids on residences around Singapore, from the Orchard Road shopping district to the suburbs. Police say they were acting on tips from financial institutions, which reported suspicious transactions involving shady documentation of the source of funds or assets. The suspects’ nationalities include Chinese, Turkish, Cambodian, and Cypriot, and they all have criminal records in their respective countries. The MAS statement said it is “taking this case extremely seriously and is in touch with the financial institutions where the potentially tainted funds have been identified.”

One of the most exclusive areas for GCBCs is Ardmore Park, located in the northwestern part of the city. The landed properties are known for their luxurious living and convenient location, just a short drive from the Orchard Road shopping area.

The area is home to luxury boutiques, department stores, and high-end restaurants. The houses are also popular with young couples and families looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Super secure storage facilities are also gaining popularity in the city-state as more people look to safeguard their prized possessions. For example, a luxury car gallery in Leng Kee Road says that Singapore’s stable government and legislation give its clients the confidence to keep their cars here. The gallery’s collection includes a Bugatti Divo, one of just 40 worldwide, and a Koenigsegg Agera RS.

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