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Singapore Introduces New Bill to Combat Money Laundering

A Report by CYS Global Remit Legal & Compliance Team   



Singapore has introduced the Anti-Money Laundering and Other Matters Bill to Parliament to enhance its financial crime prevention framework. 


Key Changes Proposed in the Bill 


1. Empowering Law Enforcement: 

  • The bill aims to give Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) more power to pursue and prosecute money laundering (ML) offenses, especially those linked to criminal activities abroad. 

  • Currently, proving ML offenses requires a direct link between criminal activities and laundered funds in Singapore. The new bill would make it easier by requiring the prosecution to show that money launderers knew or reasonably believed they were handling criminal proceeds. 


2. Including Foreign Environmental Crimes: 

  • The bill proposes that foreign environmental crimes, such as illegal mining, waste trafficking, and logging, be classified as predicate offenses under Singapore's laws. This would allow LEAs to investigate related ML cases more effectively. 


3. Promoting Cross-Agency Data Sharing: 

  • To better detect ML, Terrorism Financing (TF), and Proliferation Financing (PF) risks, the bill includes amendments to promote data sharing between agencies. This includes sharing tax and trade data with Singapore's Financial Intelligence Unit. 


4. Managing Seized Properties: 

  • The bill outlines clearer processes for managing properties that have been seized or restrained due to criminal activities. This includes provisions for selling such properties to reduce maintenance costs and preserve their value. 

  • Measures will also be introduced to prevent the premature release of seized properties when suspects abscond, ensuring ongoing investigations are not compromised. 


5. Aligning Casino Regulations: 

  • Amendments to the Casino Control Act will align Singapore's anti-money laundering framework with international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). This will enhance customer due diligence requirements for casino operators. 




 

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