Imprisonment for Money Laundering and Cheating Offences
It is an offence for individuals to intentionally launder their ill-gotten gains, either by removing it from the jurisdiction or converting the monies into other assets. Under the law, enforcement agencies like the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) are vested with the powers to investigate and charge individuals for such offences and recover the illegally obtained benefits.
2. On 12 November 2018, two Singaporeans were sentenced to imprisonment for money laundering and cheating offences. Tan Aik Gee, a 54-year-old Singaporean male who was employed by Ying Xin Services at the time of the offence, was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $900,000. The other individual, Wong Weng Kong, a 60-year-old Singaporean male freelance contractor, was sentenced to 6 years’ and 3 months’ imprisonment and a fine of $210,000. Both will begin serving their sentences with effect from 23 November 2018.
3. Investigations by the CPIB revealed that in 2009, Tan Aik Gee, together with one Linda Lee, a former Vice-President (Asset Management) of United Engineers Developments Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of United Engineers Limited (UEL) came out with a plan to siphon monies from UEL. Linda Lee used her position in the company to request for fictitious job requests in UEL’s system, and then certified and awarded these fictitious works to several companies, including Ying Xin Services. These jobs were never carried out. When payment was made to these companies, the monies would then be split between Linda Lee and Tan Aik Gee. For this, Tan Aik Gee was charged with 197 counts of conspiring with several other individuals, including Wong Weng Kong, Linda Lee, Ng Shu Jun and Tan Kiam Boon, to cheat UEL by providing fictitious quotations to dishonestly induce UEL to pay approximately $8,400,000 for works that were never carried out. This is an offence punishable under Section 420 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.
4. Moreover, from 2009 to 2015, Tan Aik Gee obtained approximately $4,240,000 from this plan of creating fictitious quotations and bogus job requests. Tan Aik Gee then made numerous trips to Balai and Batam in Indonesia via ferry, where he brought his proceeds of crime out of Singapore. He was subsequently charged with 19 counts of removing at least $380,000 (which in whole or in part, directly represents benefits from criminal conduct) from Singapore to Indonesia, an offence under Section 47(1)(b) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, Chapter 65A and punishable under Section 47(6) of the same Act. The CPIB was able to recover about $209,000 of the ill-gotten proceeds gained by Tan Aik Gee.
5. Sometime in 2011, Wong Weng Kong was roped into the scheme to provide letterheads from TW Construction Engineering to create fictitious quotations. In 2013 and 2014, Wong set-up another 5 companies under the name of his wife and his daughter. The letterheads of these companies were also given to Linda Lee to create the fictitious quotations and to get monies out from UEL through fictitious job requests. For his role, Wong Weng Kong was charged with 30 counts of conspiring with Tan Aik Gee, Linda Lee, Tan Kiam Boon and Ng Shu Jun to cheat UEL by providing fictitious quotations, which dishonestly induced UEL to pay approximately $5,750,000 for works that were never carried out. This is an offence punishable under Section 420 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.
6. In total, Wong Weng Kong had obtained approximately $560,000 from this ruse. A portion of these monies were used by Wong to pay the mortgage loan for a Housing Development Board property and a car loan for a Nissan Teana. Wong Weng Kong was eventually charged with 20 counts of using approximately $51,000 (which in whole or in part, directly represents benefits from criminal conduct), to pay the mortgage loan for a property and a car loan, an offence under Section 47(1)(c) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, Chapter 65A and punishable under Section 47(6)(a) of the same Act.
7. Linda Lee had been sentenced to 12.5 years’ imprisonment for cheating and money laundering offences on 2 October 2018. Tan Kiam Boon had also been sentenced to 3 months’ imprisonment for his role in this cheating scheme on 11 September 2018.
8. The CPIB would like to remind the public that it is a serious offence to engage in any criminal activities, including cheating and money laundering. It is also an offence to conceal, attempt to conceal or to knowingly assist another person to conceal any ill-gotten proceeds. Any persons involved in such offences will be firmly dealt with the full brunt of the law.
Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau