SINGAPORE: An Indonesian man regularly came to Singapore with large sums of undeclared cash, purportedly to gamble.
He was fined S$16,000 on Thursday (Dec 12) for not declaring about S$1.6 million in cash that he had brought in and out of Singapore over four years.
Wardoyo Suro Wijoyo, 59, pleaded guilty to four charges of not declaring money while at Changi Airport, with another 33 charges taken into consideration.
The court heard that Wardoyo had brought between S$21,300 and S$110,000 on various trips in and out of Changi Airport between April 2015 and June 2019.
He was nabbed on Jun 28 this year after he arrived on a flight from Indonesia and was stopped for a routine check by an Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer.
Wardoyo said he had nothing to declare, but the officer checked his bag and found about S$47,500 in rupiah and Singapore dollars.
The cash was seized, and Wardoyo admitted to moving cash out of Singapore on other occasions.
Singapore law dictates that anyone moving S$20,000 into or out of Singapore has to make a declaration under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Chin noted that there was no evidence of any illegal purpose in this instance and asked for a fine.
Wardoyo, who was unrepresented, told the court through an interpreter that he was very sorry for the offences and asked for the lightest fine.
"I would like the money which has been confiscated by the investigation officer to be returned to me once I pay the fine," he said.
When asked by the judge why he had carried such large sums of money across borders, Wardoyo said: "I play in casino."
The prosecutor confirmed that investigations found the cash was related to casino activities.
District Judge Marvin Bay said this case involved multiple instances of taking large sums into the country, and while there was no proven sinister intent, it was necessary to impose a sufficient sentence to discourage such acts.
He ordered the confiscated cash to be returned to Wardoyo.
The penalties for moving more than S$20,000 of cash in or out of Singapore without a declaration are a jail term of up to three years, a maximum fine of S$50,000, or both.