New teams to monitor money laundering in Singapore

Will set up new taskforces with effect from 1 August.

Singapore’s central bank is setting up teams to clamp down on money laundering. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will set up three new teams to monitor illicit money flows and enforce regulations. The anti-money laundering department will streamline regulatory policies covering illegal financing acts, and a specialised team will monitor unlawful financing risks and supervise how financial institutions can manage these risks. MAS will also pool together its enforcement functions under a new department, which will enforce regulations in banking, insurance and capital market regulatory breaches. The new department will conduct joint investigations with the Commercial Affairs Department for capital market misconducts. Singapore’s financial hub faces the risk of being used for “terrorist financing activities”, a statement from MAS said. “As our financial centre grows in scale, sophistication, and connectivity, so does the risk of criminal elements abusing our financial system”, added Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS. Last month, four Bangladeshi nationals pleaded guilty in Singapore for collecting money to fund terror attacks in their home country. This follows after a reported case of 27 Bangladeshi workers in Singapore getting arrested in 2015 for planning extremist activities. In May, MAS ordered the closure of Switzerland’s BSI bank in Singapore. The private bank was tied to Malaysia’s development fund, 1MDB and was implicated for “serious breaches of anti-money laundering requirements, poor management oversight of the bank’s operations, and gross misconduct by some of the bank’s staff”. Image by alantankenghoe, licensed under CC BY 2.0