HomeNews10 Shophouses Linked To Largest Money Laundering Case In Singapore Up For Sale
10 shophouses linked to largest money laundering case in singapore on sale

10 Shophouses Linked To Largest Money Laundering Case In Singapore Up For Sale

The Largest Money Laundering Case In Singapore With Seized Assets Valued At S$3 Billion

The Singapore authorities first started their probe in 2021 when suspected forged documents to substantiate their sources of funds in bank accounts came to their attention. 

After extensive investigations in 2022, they found a network of people allegedly transferring money from abroad to Singapore that was suspected to be from criminal proceeds.  

Following islandwide raids on 15 August 2023, the assets seized or issued with prohibition of disposal orders are currently valued at S$3 billion, making it one of the world’s largest money laundering cases. 

10 Shophouses In Geylang, Stanley Street, Amoy Street and Telok Ayer Street Put Up For Sale

On Dec 1, 2023, FTI Consulting (the appointed receiver) placed three separate advertisements in The Business Times, calling for expression of interest for 10 shophouses in Telok Ayer Street (one unit), Amoy Street (four units) and Geylang Road (five units). These properties are estimated to be worth over S$100 million by market observers. Market observers said about 30 parties submitted offers for the 10 shophouse units before the deadline on Jan 15, 2024.

3 of the shophouses are now being marketed at S$61.1 million. they are adjoining shophouses at Stanley Street in Chinatown. The properties were bought by a Chinese businessman with links to Wang Dehai, one of the 10 accused persons in the largest money laundering case in Singapore to date. The Stanley Street shophouses are owned by a company, Aalto Group whole sole director is Su Fuxiang, who has been identified as a person of interest to the police. 

The shophouses at 4, 5 and 6 Stanley Street sit on a land area of 4,030 square feet (sq ft). The three shophouses along Stanley Street are zoned “Commercial” under the Master Plan 2019. They are connected across the third storey with approval for office use and also have partial connectivity on the second storey where a fitness and wellness studio is located. The ground floor is tenanted to food and beverage outlets.

The other five shophouse units at Amoy Street and Telok Ayer Street were put up for sale in December. The 999-year leasehold properties are listed for sale without asking prices and are said to valued at about S$45 million. The five shophouses are owned by a company formed in January 2021, which has Su Binghai registered as a director. Su Binghai is associated with the individual who owns the Stanley Street shophouses, Su Fuxiang, and both are linked to arrested suspect Wang. 

Singapore Land Authority records showed that Suyh bought the five adjoining units at 236 to 244 Geylang Road in 2021. Mr Su Fuxiang, an associate of Mr Su Binghai, is the sole director and shareholder of Suyh, Acra records showed. The units in Geylang are occupied by a coffee shop, a hairdressing salon, a Chinese restaurant and a tattoo shop.

At least 10 foreigners have been arrested in Singapore’s largest money laundering case to date, with assets seized worth more than S$3 billion.

One Of The Largest Money Laundering Cases In The World

The Singapore authorities were alerted in 2021 when they picked up several signals, including the use of suspected forged documents to support sources of funds in bank accounts here.

Some suspicious transaction reports (STRs) were filed by financial institutions and other companies. In early 2022, the police launched an extensive intelligence probe that uncovered a web of people believed to be connected to one another, including by familial ties. 

The anti-money laundering probes of this scale and nature are complex. It is one of the largest anti-money laundering operations not just in Singapore but likely the world, Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo told parliament in October 2023.

The 10 suspects – who are of Chinese origin but have the nationalities and passports of countries like Cyprus and Cambodia – have since been charged in court with money laundering offences.

The Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office (STRO) is Singapore’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) responsible for receiving Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and other financial information such as Cash Movement Reports (CMRs) and Cash Transaction Reports (CTRs) and analyse them to detect Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and other serious crimes.

Where possible offences are detected, the FIU disseminates the financial intelligence to relevant enforcement and regulatory agencies.

Are Shophouses In Singapore Still In Demand?

The supply of shophouses in Singapore is limited, with about 6,500 shophouses given conservation status. 

The shophouse market has slowed significantly with economic uncertainty and the latest anti-money laundering bust dampening sales. The volume of transactions hit a 13-year low in the last quarter, according to a recent PropNex shophouse report.

Based on caveats lodged, there were only 15 shophouse transactions in Q4 2023, down 60 per cent from the 37 deals in the previous quarter. 

For the whole of 2023, the only recorded shophouse transaction along Stanley Street was the sale of 28 Stanley Street to 8M Real Estate for S$29 million, or S$4,580 per square foot based on floor area.

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