The agency responsible for anti-money laundering campaigns in Singapore reported an increase in cases during 2013.
According to the Commercial Affairs Department, the agency received 22,417 suspicious transaction reports during the 2013 year, and increase of 25 percent from the previous year. In 341 instances, the agency provided intelligence to foreign agencies, up from the 160 cases of intelligence sharing that took place in 2012.
In total, security officials in Singapore seized over $92 Million (115 Million Singaporean Dollars) in suspected criminal proceeds.
According to a spokesman for the agency, more transnational organized crime groups are using the country’s financial industry in order to move their illicit funds.
(All money laundering statistics here.)
Two cases of illegal gambling syndicates in Asia highlight the amount of money being wagered on the 2014 World Cup.
Police in Macau broke up a ring that took in $645 Million during the opening matches. 22 people were arrested by police in China, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The syndicate was operating out of three hotel rooms in Macau where they took internet and phone bets from people around the world. One gambler allegedly placed a $5 Million bet with the syndicate.
In the same hotel, police broke up a different illegal gambling ring that took in up to $645,000 in bets in a single day during the World Cup.
Hong Kong police seized illegal betting slips that had around $10 Million in bets placed and arrested 39 people in the first two weeks of the tournament. Illegal sports betting in Hong Kong generates about $64.5 Billion each year in the territory.
Singapore security officials arrested 15 people in a illegal gambling ring that took in $640,000 in World Cup bets during the opening stages of the World Cup.
Over half of all illegal sports gambling takes place in Asia.
(See all illegal sports gambling statistics and figures here.)
In a media report in Asia, drug abusers from Singapore stated that they regularly travel to Malaysia in order to obtain drugs such as ecstasy and to party in Malaysian clubs.
According to one Singaporean who was at a club in Malaysia, the price for one ecstasy pill cost $2.38 (3 Singaporean Dollars). By comparison, a single ecstasy pill sold in Singapore would cost up to 10 times as much.
Another former addict who spoke to the press stated that up to 70 percent of the people he met at drug parties in Malaysia were from Singapore.
(Prices of ecstasy for sale around the world.)
Source: “More Singaporeans go abroad for drug fix,” The Star Online, April 7, 2014.
According to a survey, around 60 percent of the population in Singapore committed online piracy at some point in their lives.
Breakdown of the piracy rate by age:
16 to 18 years old: 69 percent committed online piracy such as downloading unauthorized content.
19 to 24 years old: 74 percent.
50 to 59 years old: 31 percent.
60 to 64 years old: 40 percent.
Source: Eileen Poh, “Survey shows online piracy in S’pore most prevalent among youths,” Channel NewsAsia, March 18, 2014.
A study by the International Tax and Investment Centre and Oxford Economics found that 900 million cigarettes were bought on the black market in Singapore. The amount of tax revenue lost to the government was estimated to be around $276 Million (347 Million Singaporean Dollars).
Based on the total amount of cigarettes smoked in Singapore, roughly one in four cigarettes smoked in 2012 was purchased on the black market.
Security agencies arrested 6,248 people for buying illegal cigarettes in 2012, an increase from the 5,977 arrested in 2011.
Source: Joyce Lim, “1 in 4 cigarettes in Singapore illegal,” Asian One, September 29, 2013.
An online prostitution syndicate that was broken up by police was found to have been charging customers $111 to $119 (140 to 150 Singaporian Dollars) for a 90 minuet session.
The syndicate recruited women from Thailand and operated an apartment in Singapore. If the pimps paid for the woman’s travel to Singapore, then the woman’s earnings from the first 20 customers would be kept by the group. After the 20th customer, then the woman and the house would split the earnings in half.
(Cost to hire a prostitute.)
Source: Kimberly Spykerman, “Online prostitution syndicate mastermind pleads guilty to offences,” Channel News Asia, September 26, 2013.
Four men were sentenced to 3 months in jail for having sex with an underage prostitute. According to court records, the men paid between $47 to $55 (60 to 70 Singapore Dollars) to have sex with a girl who was 17 at the time.
The group of men are part of a group of 24 men who have been charged with having sex with the minor. The girls is scheduled to face trial in the coming months.
(Additional prices of prostitutes worldwide.)
Source: “Four more jailed for paid sex with underage girl,” Channel News Asia, September 12, 2013.
A report by an online advertising and Internet security firm stated that up to $9.5 Billion in online advertising in 2013 could be wasted by displaying ads to bot traffic.
Up to 46 percent of Web-based ad impressions in 2013 could be displayed to suspicious and malicious traffic that is controlled by botnets. 35 percent of mobile-based ad impressions may be bots as well, according to Solve Media.
In 2012, the rate of ad impression for the web and mobile was 43 percent and 22 percent.
The report stated that the highest levels of suspicious traffic for Web-based ads originated from China, Venezuela and Ukraine. For mobile-based ads, the bot traffic originated from Singapore, Macau and Qatar.
In the United States, 44 percent of web-based ad impressions was considered suspicious in the second quarter of 2013, and 22 percent for mobile-based ads.
Source: Brian Donohue, “Report: Online Ads Waste $9.5B in 2013,” Threatpost, September 9, 2013.
Between 2010 to 2012, financial crimes investigators and regulators fined 22 financial institutions for lax anti-money laundering policies and efforts to combat terrorism financing.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore conducted 108 on-site inspections of financial firms and issued 47 warnings and reprimands.
13 money changers and remittance agents were not allowed to renew their licenses during this time period.
(Latest money laundering cases.)
Source: “22 financial institutions fined over last 3 years for weak anti-money laundering controls,” Channel NewsAsia, July 12, 2013.
125 fishermen in Singapore was fined in 2012 for illegal fishing activities across the country.
91 people were fined for fishing in non-fishing designated areas, and 34 people were fined for using live bait. Fishing with live bait is not allowed in Singapore due to safety and environmental concerns.
The National Water Agency stated that recreational fishing is rising in popularity in Singapore.
Source: “125 fined for illegal fishing activities in 2012,” Channel NewsAsia, May 26, 2013.