SINGAPORE: A 26-year-old Malaysian male who attempted to bring around S$3 million on two separate trips to Singapore has been ordered to forfeit S$400,000.
This was taken from the nearly two million dollars seized from Bryan Woo Kah Hou, who works for a moneychanger in Sarawak, Malaysia, when he came to Singapore in June 2023.
In November last year, Woo was fined S$30,000 for conspiring to move cash over S$20,000 into Singapore. The Police announced on Friday (Feb 2) that the additional amount was confiscated from Woo.
Individuals who bring over S$20,000 in or out of Singapore must declare the amount. Failure to do so may result in a jail term of as long as three years and/or a fine of S$50,000.
TODAY quotes Mr David Chew, the director of the police’s Commercial Affairs Department, saying that this is “one of Singapore’s measures to curb money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal activities.”
He also said that “all travellers should do their part, including money service businesses be it regulated in Singapore or elsewhere, by making full and accurate cash movement declarations.”
The Police added in its statement that the court agreed to the prosecution’s application to confiscate S$400,000 from the money seized from Woo, which is around 20 per cent of the sum on him when he was caught.
This is “necessary to send a clarion signal to the world at large that we will enforce our anti-money-laundering laws strictly to protect Singapore’s financial system and international standing,” CNA quotes Deputy Public Prosecutor David Koh as saying in his submission.
The rest of the money seized from Woo was returned to him.
Part of Woo’s job for a money-changing company in Sarawak is bringing currencies into Singapore. As such, the company’s customers would give him dollars from Brunei and Singapore, which he would bring to Singapore in exchange for a Malaysian ringgit.
He was on one such courier trip on June 20, 2023, arriving on a flight from Brunei. Woo declared that he was only bringing in B$468,000 and S$37,500.
However, the actual amount he had was B$1,953,818 and S$25,235, for a total of S$1,979,053, which was confiscated by authorities.
During the course of investigations, it was discovered that when Woo arrived in Singapore on June 16, 2023, he only declared that he was bringing B$428,000 and S$30,000, where, in reality, he had a total of nearly S$1 million in both currencies.
On that trip, however, he made it to Singapore without an incident. /TISG