What are Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing or Suspicious Transactions?
Singapore has made money laundering, terrorist financing, and other suspicious transactions illegal and has taken strict action against these activities. However, what do these vices mean? Understanding them would make it easy for even a layman to identify them. Consequently, it would be possible to file the Suspicious Transactions Reports (SRT) as soon as possible preferable before it occurs.
Money laundering involves the pretense of doing legitimate business, but the reality is the money is coming from illegal activities. The culprits have a way of making it appear as though everything is within the legal guidelines. Under such circumstances, the regulatory authorities may not see the need to scrutinize the business. In most cases, it is about taking the illegally gained money and transferring it to a series and company that follow the rules.
A good example is a drug lord who ventures into real estate. The money used to construct properties is part of illegal profits. However, the money will seem legally obtained once he rents them out.
On the other hand, terrorist financing is as straightforward as it appears. It involves sending money to a terrorist group to finance their terrorist activities. People who transact with terrorists or deal with them in any way fall under this category too. Sometimes, it may be a form of money laundering. For instance, helping a terrorist clean his money is money laundering to a great extent.
Offenses associated with Money Laundering and the Consequences
As an individual or a business, some activities could land you in hot soup. Money laundering is one of them, and these are some related situations.
- Dealing with illegal money
The money may be from drugs or other criminal activities. You will get into trouble if you transfer, conceal, use, possess or acquire such money knowingly. The price to pay for the involvement is a 10-year jail term or a fine of S500 000 if you are an individual. However, the penalty for a business is up to S$1 million and, in some cases, twice the amount in question.
- Assisting Criminals
Upon identifying a suspicious transaction, you need to inform the authorities. Failure to do so will assist the criminals in retaining the money. Some assistance could cost you ten years you would spend in jail or a fine of S500 000. However, the fine for a business is up to S$1 million and, in some cases, twice the amount in question.
- Tipping off suspects
Don’t update any suspect with information regarding the investigation. After all, the criminal may tamper with evidence hence going scot-free eventually. Doing so will see you pay a fine of S$250,000 or a three-year jail term.
- Not disclosing a suspicious transaction
Failure to disclose will cost the company a fine of about S$500,000. As an individual, the penalty will be about $250,000 or 3 years imprisonment.
Only a fool can engage in suspicious transactions such as terrorist financing and money laundering willingly. After all, the fines are pretty huge. Therefore, you stand to lose money, freedom, or business. Instead of all that trouble, it would be wise to avoid such deals.