Singapore has always come down heavily on tax related crimes. All these continue to make Singapore the preferred choice destination of choice for investors.

 Money Laundering = Tax Crimes

However, in recent times, certain crimes related to money laundering have been on the rise in Singapore. This is because shell companies which have been incorporated in Singapore have been used as vehicles for the channeling of illicit funds. Such crimes involve a Singapore resident director and a company incorporation agent. These crimes involve the use of a bank account opened under the name of a certain company. Subsequently, money that has been gained through criminal activity in foreign countries will be placed in the bank account. During prosecution, it is the foreign director who will normally be held responsible for the crime. Many people mistakenly believe that such companies are legitimate purely because they have a Singapore resident director; however, this is clearly not true. Several companies which have long been conducting business operations in Singapore have also become involved in such crimes by being unwittingly used as front companies for criminal purposes.

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To combat such crimes, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)  has begun working with the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), the Association of Banks in Singapore, and eight of Singapore’s leading banks. This collaboration is known as the AML/CFT Industry Partnership (ACIP). The objectives of this partnership are the reduction of money laundering and the countering of the financing of terrorist activities. It serves as a platform through which MAS can send detailed reports to the banks which are part of ACIP. These banks can then use the information contained in the reports to conduct further assessments on any suspicious bank accounts and even shut them down if necessary.

The actions of ACIP will benefit the financial institutions and businesses of Singapore because it makes the country’s enforcement of financial regulations firm and are upheld in the most stringent manner. This is because granting the financial institutions access to such reports will make them more informed about the financial crimes that have been a blight on Singapore’s corporate atmosphere. Doing so will help Singapore maintain its reputation as an international financial hub renowned all over the world. Singapore’s government stands firmly against such crimes, and ACIP will help support it in its quest.

Singapore’s stances against financial crimes and money laundering prove that Singapore has the objective of becoming a fair and just location for global financial institutions and eliminating money-related crimes. Such crimes have done much to harm the business scene in Singapore. Therefore, it is imperative that the authorities in Singapore continue to combat them in every way possible.