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Maximum jail term for money laundering raised

The maximum jail term for money laundering has been raised to 10 years after a bill amending the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes Act was passed in Parliament.

SINGAPORE: A bill amending the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes Act was passed in Parliament on Monday (July 7), paving the way for tougher penalties and better international cooperation in tackling serious crimes.

The maximum jail term for money laundering has been raised from seven to 10 years, making it consistent with the maximum penalty for terrorism financing.

"With the increasingly transnational, lucrative and sophisticated nature of criminal activities, the risk of Singapore being used as a conduit to launder criminal proceeds continues to be a concern,” said Second Minister for Home Affairs and Minister in the Prime Minister's office S Iswaran.

“Money laundering undermines the rule of law, erodes the integrity of our financial system, and damages our reputation as a trusted international financial centre. Illicit proceeds can also be used to finance terrorism giving rise to serious national security concerns."

Those bringing tax-illicit monies into Singapore will also face greater deterrence.

With the changes, authorities are now allowed to prosecute cases here that involve the evasion of foreign taxes, so long as tax evasion is illegal in the foreign country and were committed with the wilful intent to evade tax.

The amendments also provide for more flexibility in information sharing with foreign enforcement agencies. Investigating officers will not need a formal arrangement such as a memorandum of understanding to share intelligence with their foreign counterparts.  

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