Money laundering is the process whereby money obtained by criminal or illegitimate means is converted to give the appearance of having come from legal or legitimate source. The Corruption, Drug, Trafficking and other serious crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, commonly known as CDSA.
In Singapore, there are four types of money laundering offences criminalised under CDSA. The offence is committed when a person:
(1) Section 46(1) and 47(1): Conceals or disguises any property (in whole or part) which is derived from Drug Trafficking or from Criminal Conduct; or converts/ transfer that property or removes it from Singapore.
(2) Section 46(3) and 47(3): Knows or has reasonable grounds to believe that any property is derived from Drug Trafficking or from Criminal Conduct and obtains that property for no or inadequate consideration.
(3) Section 46(2) and 47(2): Knowingly (subjectively and objectively) assists a person to commit the offence No.1 in order to avoid the prosecution of a money laundering offence or to avoid the enforcement of a confiscation order under the Act.
(4) Section 43(1) and 44(1): Assist a drug trafficker or a serious crime offender (criminal) to (a) retain or control his benefits from these criminal activities or (b) secure such funds or (c) invest such funds
The penalty for the commission of any of these offences is a fine not exceeding $200,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding seven years, or both. Sections 43(5) and 46(6) of CDSA.
Money Laundering: Reporting of suspicious transactions
A Suspicious Transaction Report(STR) should be lodged when a person has knowledge or has reasonable grounds to suspect that any property or proceeds is directly or indirectly associated with a criminal conduct or drug trafficking.
Section 39(1) of the CDSA (Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act imposes a duty to disclose knowledge or suspicion that any property represents the proceeds of, or is linked to a criminal activity.
Failure to report suspicious transaction is an offence under CDSA. According to Section 39(2), if found guilty, the person will be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000.