A Critical Analysis of Systems in Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and the USA
Edited by Mark Pieth and Gemma Aiolfi
Chapter 3: Country Report: Anti-money laundering laws and regulations in Singapore
Madeline Lee1 I EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The objective of this chapter is to provide an analysis of the anti-money laundering (AML) laws, regulations and practice in Singapore. The main sources of information are official media releases, legislation, academic texts and commentaries. Some unofficial interviews and discussions with bankers and officials in Singapore were also made. Singapore has commendably achieved its status as an important financial centre in Asia within a relatively short period of time. In light of the scale of the money laundering problem world-wide, Singapore recognizes the importance of a sound and effective anti-money laundering system to sustain a competitive financial centre in Asia. Initial legislation effort to fight money laundering in Singapore focused on the proceeds from drug trafficking activities. However, it has become increasingly clear that money laundering extends beyond the proceeds of drug trafficking. As such, the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Serious Offences (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (CDSA) was amended in 1999 to extend the asset confiscation and AML provisions of the former Drug Trafficking (Confiscation of Benefits) Act beyond drug laundering provisions to cover serious crimes. In addition, wider scope of powers is given to the enforcement agencies and financial regulators in Singapore to deter money laundering. At about the same time, the Extradition Act was amended to make serious crimes money laundering offences extraditable. In 2000, the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act was enacted. This is an independent and comprehensive legislation introduced to address the issues of provision and receipt of legal assistance...
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