And the plot thickens. Again.
Simply put, ten foreign internationals were nabbed here in Singapore for their supposed ties to a huge money laundering scheme. All of them were apprehended on the same day in what was one of the largest operations on local soil.
At the time, it was revealed that they had profited off illegal schemes such as online gambling. This point has now been magnified in a recent revelation.
Chinese Media Reported That Some of the $1 Billion Money Laundering Foreigners Were Investigated in China
Yes, online gambling was indeed a major problem, and some of the foreigners involved are reported to have already faced investigations in China.
Back in May 2022, China exposed an illegal gambling syndicate, a move that led to the arrest of 131 people in China as well as the confiscation of more than 10 million yuan (S$1.9 million).
Some fled, including one of the ten foreigners, Turkish national Vang Shuiming.
He was said to have escaped China with eight other individuals. A notice for his surrender had been issued by the public security bureau in Zibo in August 2022.
Meanwhile, Cambodia national Cheng Qingyuan, who’s also one of the ten suspects, was previously wanted for several offences back in 2019.
A list of suspects had been issued by the public security bureau in Anxi County in China’s Fujian province, and Cheng’s identification number had been listed on it.
Another individual, Wang Baosen, has also been linked to two other China Nationals, Wang Bingan and Wang Cailin, who’re believed to be the forerunners of an online gambling group that dates back all the way to 2013.
If you’ve heard of the site Hongli300, that was the premise that Bingan and Cailin had come up with when they were in their 20s.
A site service that promised games like blackjack, baccarat, and sports betting services, the business reportedly flourished and expanded exceptionally quickly.
Ethnic Chinese people were gathered and hauled in to fill gaps in the management and design sectors, and even family members were roped in, with their bank accounts utilized as “holders” for the illicit profits.
The site eventually met its demise in October 2014. Bingan and Cailin, alongside several others, were sentenced in 2015 to years of imprisonment.
Wang Baosen had been involved in the probe.
Meanwhile, three of the ten suspects, Cypriot national Wang Dehai, Vanuatu national Su Jianfeng, and Cambodian national Su Wenqiang, have alleged ties with Su Yongcan and Wang Huoqiang, two of 72 individuals China had investigated back in 2017.
Su Yongcan and Wang Huoqiang were reportedly on the run in 2018.
Incidentally, all ten foreigners were allegedly part of the “Fujian Gang”, a group which supposedly operated from Fujian, China.
Membership in this alleged gang numbers up to the hundreds, and they’re supposedly all in on the $1 billion money laundering operation.
According to an unnamed source, the Fujian Gang isn’t a new thing in Singapore.
They’ve apparently been in Singapore for at least six to seven years.
The foreigners led “high-profile” lifestyles, not surprising given their lavish spending, and often drove luxury cars like Lamborghinis and Ferraris.
The members also allegedly liked to shop at Takashimaya and party all night long.
They would hang out at high-end nightclubs in town, drinking and singing while being accompanied by girls from China.
Some of the establishments they party at are “flower joints” where customers can “hang flowers” for the hostesses in exchange for companionship.
They reportedly spent up to S$1 million at these places.
In addition, they have made notable donations to several local charities, including Singapore Thong Chai Medical Institution.
According to Lianhe Zaobao, four accused persons, Su Haijin, Su Baolin, Lin Baoying, and Zhang Ruijin, were found to have donated to Singapore Thong Chai Medical Institution in 2021.
Su Haijin’s family, Su Baolin’s family, and Lin Baoying, together with Zhang Ruijin (they’re a couple), each donated $100,000 to the charitable clinic.
The Institution has yet to respond to the allegations.
In other news, most businesses that were linked to the money laundering scheme have been revealed to be disconnected from their registered addresses.
The businesses could not be found at the specified locations.
Four of the ten suspects have also been remanded for another eight days from today (23 August 2023) amid fears that they would collude and contaminate evidence if released.
They’re suspected of knowing each other and being part of a common group.
They are due to return to court next week. The rest of the ten-person “group” will appear in court from their respective places (of remand) next week.
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