By Tria Dianti
SINGAPORE – A 55-year-old man has been sentenced to 15 months' jail on Thursday (3 November) for facilitating a money laundering scheme.
Leo Shiou Juanq, who was also fined S$5,000, had more than US$200,000 (S$284,000) channelled through two of his company's bank accounts, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a statement.
In May 2018, an unidentified man named Max had, via text messages, offered Lee loans and a way to "earn money without having to borrow from him".
Leo assisted Max to register a company, Oasis Mg Pte Ltd, and open two corporate bank accounts between August and September 2018.
Then Leo gave full access to the accounts to Max by giving the bank tokens, ATM cards, and cheque books for the said accounts to an unidentified runner working for Max.
"In his role as the sole director of Oasis, Leo did not exercise any supervision over the company's affairs and failed to monitor the business activities in its two corporate accounts," the police said.
Between March and May 2019, criminal proceeds totalling US$204,901 were channelled through the accounts. "The criminal proceeds originated from several victims, who had made the transfers believing that they were purchasing investment shares," the police added.
Received police warning
According to the police, Leo had reasonable grounds to believe that Max had engaged in criminal conduct, and that the relinquishment of his control over Oasis' bank accounts to Max would facilitate Max's control of his benefits from criminal conduct.
"In particular, Leo had received a warning from the Police in early 2019 to refrain from giving up control over his bank accounts to others, and was informed that he may be exposing himself to criminal liability if he continued to do so," the police said. "He had also received multiple fund recall requests from banks regarding suspicious transactions using Oasis' bank accounts. Despite these circumstances, Leo continued to act on the instructions of Max, and did not choose to report the matter or close the accounts."
Leo was convicted of an offence under Section 44(1)(a) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Offences (Confiscation of Benefits) Act ("CDSA"), Chapter 65A, for being concerned in an arrangement to facilitate another person’s control of benefits from criminal conduct, and an offence under Section 157(1) of the Companies Act, Chapter 50, for failing to exercise reasonable diligence as the director of a company.
"To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, members of the public should reject requests from others to register companies and/or open bank accounts or receive money in their bank accounts as they will be held accountable if these are linked to criminal activities," the police said.