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Singapore police have arrested 10 foreigners in the money laundering operation and seized $736m worth of assets, including cars, properties, and other assets.
Singapore is establishing rigid regulations to regulate the crypto industry. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a stablecoin regulatory framework on Aug 15th. The crypto industry is the most vulnerable for the country’s ecosystem due to its involvement in money laundering and other financial crimes. The Singapore government is finding effective ways to curb the illicit use of crypto coins and cracking down on scammers involved in fraudulent activities.
The Singapore Police Force declared through a Facebook post that they arrested 10 foreign individuals. These scammers were charged with forgery and money laundering. The announcement further disclosed that $736m worth of crypto assets and multiple properties were seized. Singapore police stated, “Prohibition of disposal orders were issued against 94 properties and 50 vehicles, with a total estimated value of more than $815 million.” They also added that the investigation is continuing, and more assets could be seized, as well as bank accounts could be frozen.
This investigation is the most enormous of its type in the country’s history. More than 400 police officers took part in this operation. The taskforce raided different target locations of the city-state during operations and apprehended criminals from luxury homes and elite condominiums. The suspects are aged between 31 and 44, and their nationalities included China, Cyprus, Cambodia, Turkey, and Vanuatu. The Singapore central bank said they are “in touch with the financial institutions (FIs) where the potentially tainted funds have been identified. Supervisory engagements with these FIs are ongoing.” but they did not clear any names of FIs.
Despite that, Singapore is a crypto industry hub in Asia, but they are still fighting against money laundering and trying to establish a secure crypto transfer platform. Until now, Singapore has not set any rigid regulations for virtual assets, but previously MAS issued a framework for the stablecoin single currency. However, they must have to design various regulations to protect service providers and the investor.