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$3 billion money laundering case: Su Jianfeng receives 17-month sentence, last of 10 convicted

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  • Su Jianfeng was sentenced to 17 months in jail for his involvement in a $3 billion money laundering case, the largest in Singapore's history.
  • Su's charges included money laundering and forgery, with significant asset forfeiture totaling $178.9 million.
  • The case involved ten foreigners, with over $891 million in assets forfeited and several individuals already deported.

Vanuatu national Su Jianfeng has been sentenced to 17 months in jail, becoming the last of ten individuals to be convicted in a sprawling $3 billion money laundering investigation. Su's conviction on June 6, 2024, includes charges of money laundering and forgery, with the forfeiture of $178.9 million of his seized assets to the state.

The case, which has been described as Singapore's largest money laundering investigation, saw the arrest of ten foreigners in August 2023 following coordinated raids on luxury homes across the island. Su Jianfeng, 36, was the last to plead guilty, doing so only after observing the sentences handed down to his co-accused.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Teo revealed that Su was deeply involved in an illegal online gambling operation based in the Philippines since 2013. His role included advertising and managing workers who operated gambling websites targeting Chinese punters. Su relocated to Singapore in August 2020, motivated by a desire for his children to receive education in the city-state.

The money laundering charge against Su pertains to his possession of $550,903 in cash, believed to be illicit gains from his gambling activities. This cash was discovered in a safe in his bedroom during his arrest. Additionally, Su faced a forgery charge for creating a fake property sale contract in March 2021 to explain two large deposits into his Maybank Singapore account, totaling over $1.9 million. The forged document falsely indicated that he had sold a property near the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Prosecutors sought a 17 to 18-month jail term for Su, arguing that his actions demonstrated he was not a minor player in the money laundering scheme. Deputy Public Prosecutor Edwin Soh emphasized that Su's late guilty plea, made only after seeing the outcomes for other offenders, did not reflect genuine remorse. "The accused person did not plead guilty at the earliest opportunity as a genuine show of remorse," DPP Soh stated.

Su's defense, led by senior counsel N. Sreenivasan, argued for a lighter sentence of 14 to 15 months, highlighting that Su had forfeited assets worth more than ten times the amount involved in his money laundering charges. Sreenivasan also noted that Su's role in the illegal gambling operations was limited to supporting workers and that his forgery did not result in any financial loss to individuals or entities.

The case has resulted in the forfeiture of over $891 million in assets from the nine convicted foreigners. Among them, Su Wenqiang, Su Haijin, Su Baolin, Wang Baosen, Vang Shuiming, Zhang Ruijin, Chen Qingyuan, and Lin Baoying received sentences ranging from 13 to 15 months. Several have already been deported to their home countries, including Cambodia and Japan.

Su Jianfeng's sentencing marks the end of a significant chapter in Singapore's fight against financial crime. The extensive investigation and subsequent convictions underscore the city's commitment to maintaining its reputation as a global financial hub with stringent anti-money laundering measures.

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