(Daily360.com) – The biggest money laundering operation in the history of Singapore has been brought down. A man named Wang Dehai fled his native China five years ago to settle in Singapore. Wang was being sought after by Chinese authorities for, among other things, running an illegal gambling operation.
Once in Singapore, Wang along with his wife set up shop and Wang was able to acquire an employment pass that allowed him to remain in the country. The couple set up a banking account with Credit Suisse and arranged legal passports from Cyprus. The couple lived lavishly, Wang purchased a $23 million home within the sought after Orchard land area. They also had $2.8 million in crypto currency in their portfolio.
The high life came to an abrupt halt for the couple in August when Wang and nine other people of Chinese origin were arrested in the massive money-laundering operation. To date, authorities have seized around $2.8 billion in assets from this operation. Among the assets were gold bars, more than 50 cars, large amounts of jewelry and more than 150 properties.
Such operations are extremely rare in Singapore due to its strict law enforcement culture and rigorous bank tracking of the citizens. The country has long attracted wealthy people and investors to its ever-growing finance industry, making it one of the wealthiest nations in the world. The wealthy are granted extremely favorable tax programs and are offered the opportunity for long-term citizenship. Well known investor Ray Dalio has an office network in the Asian nation.
Within the last decade, Singapore has seen its money sector more than double to the $3.65 trillion it stands at today. Of that, more than three quarters comes from other nations.
Wang is currently being held by authorities and has been labeled as a flight risk since he holds passports from more than four nations. His lawyer denies the allegations and contends Wang was clearly trying to establish himself in Singapore and does not represent a flight risk. Wang is alleged to have made his fortune by offering remote gambling to Chinese citizens, which is forbidden in China.
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