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2 men in billion-dollar money laundering case denied bail after judge deems them 'high flight risk'

Wang Baosen and Su Baolin's lawyers unsuccessfully argued for their clients to be released.

2 men in billion-dollar money laundering case denied bail after judge deems them 'high flight risk'

Court sketches of Wang Baosen and Su Baolin, suspects in a billion-dollar money laundering case in Singapore. (Illustration: CNA/Lydia Lam)

SINGAPORE: Two men involved in a massive S$1.8 billion money laundering case in Singapore were denied bail on Wednesday (Sep 6) after a judge found them flight risks. 

Lawyers for Wang Baosen, 31, and Su Baolin, 41, sought to have their clients released on bail after the prosecution applied for no bail for both men and called for them to be further remanded.

District Judge Brenda Tan heard arguments from the lawyers earlier on Wednesday morning before delivering her decision in the afternoon.

The judge noted that the onus was on the accused persons to show why they should be granted bail for offences that were non-bailable. 

In both cases, the judge was satisfied that there was a "real and high flight risk" as well as a danger of collusion.

District Judge Tan noted Wang was a foreigner on a dependent pass, with two foreign passports issued by different countries. 

She referred to the investigating officer's affidavit, which stated that Wang derived income from overseas.

"Information points to (him) being a high flight risk because he has no roots or at best tenuous roots" in Singapore, the judge said, noting that Wang had the means to relocate elsewhere. 

Similarly, Su Baolin was a foreigner with two passports from different countries - and the means to relocate, as he owned a condominium in China. 

"The fact that his family has moved to Singapore does not mean that he will not abscond," the judge said.  

Wang's case will be mentioned in court on Oct 4 while Su's is fixed for pre-trial conference on the same date.

Eight other people involved in the Aug 15 crackdown had their cases mentioned earlier on Wednesday. None were granted bail, and all have been remanded further.


In arguing that Wang - who has been remanded for 22 days - ought to be released on bail, the Chinese national's lawyer Adrian Wee objected to three main points raised in the investigating officer's affidavit. 

These were that Wang's offences were serious, that he was a flight risk and that there was a risk of collusion with another suspect on the run – his cousin – referred to as Y. 

Mr Wee said that while his client's offences were serious, they did not cross the threshold necessary to deny him bail.

"The prosecution has said that it required continuous access to the accused person for the purposes of recording statements and it has had 22 days of continuous access. The net result is two charges and (these amount to) S$396,000," Mr Wee said. 

The lawyer pointed out that the prosecution used the fact that his client had two passports, to claim that he was a flight risk. 

"What is one to make of that? Not everyone with two passports is automatically a flight risk and the prosecution has not explained why having two passports is a flight risk, and this is especially curious because both are in the possession of the Commercial Affairs Department," he said. 

To the prosecution's point that his client had no employment in Singapore, Mr Wee said: "I would suggest that any accused person accused of a crime ... and has spent 22 days in remand would have no employment in Singapore, and that factor is irrelevant unless the prosecution can demonstrate why."

On how his client's assets being frozen in Singapore contributes to him being a flight risk, Mr Wee argued the prosecution would have argued the same even if Wang Baosen had no assets in Singapore. 

"So it's a situation of heads I win, tails you lose," said Mr Wee. 

The prosecution also failed to elaborate how the risk of collusion could be manifested, Mr Wee said, adding that while his client could be electronically tagged, the prosecution seemed "hell bent" on one outcome. 

Deputy Public Prosecutor Foo Shihao in turn argued that S$396,000 was not a small figure, and that Wang had been unemployed even before he was arrested. 

"In this case, the accused indubitably faces non-bailable offences, so it is for my learned friend to show why bail should be offered, and my learned friend has not adduced evidence in this regard," said Mr Foo. 


Su, a Cambodian national, had one of his two charges amended on Wednesday to add that he had engaged in a conspiracy with a Wang Qiming to make a false document to commit fraud in December 2020.

This document was a "borrowing agreement" that Su allegedly had with a Se Liang, which reportedly was to be used to cheat Standard Chartered Bank. 

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Jean Ting applied for no bail in Su's case, citing how he faces serious offences and was a flight risk, among other reasons.

The prosecution pointed out that Su was not a Singapore citizen or permanent resident and owned a condominium in China that he bought for 11 million yuan (US$1.5 million), showing he had the means to secure a comfortable residence abroad. 

Su's lawyers Sunil Sudheesan, Diana Ngiam and Joyce Khoo argued for bail to be imposed with conditions, including that the bailor should be Singaporean and that the accused be electronically tagged. 

Mr Sudheesan said Su's wife, four children and parents were in Singapore. He added that his client suffered from a congenital heart disease and that his treatment from doctors in Singapore was "pertinent to his survival". 

He said that all his client's passports have been seized and his assets frozen, and as a result his means to leave Singapore have "plummeted significantly". 

However Ms Ng maintained that Su's roots in Singapore were weak. She argued that Su had not come clean about his relationship with co-accused Su Haijin in relation to payments for two properties at Beach Road as well as a yacht. 

"There is therefore reason to believe that the risk of collusion and contamination of evidence is a real one if Su Baolin were release on bail," she said. 

Addressing the court, Su said he had "no intention of withholding the truth" from investigators. 

Source: CNA/wt(jo)


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