TWO MEN SENTENCED TO 65 MONTHS AND 56 MONTHS IMPRISONMENT FOR ASSISTING A MALAYSIAN TO LAUNDER CRIMINAL PROCEEDS
On 16 November 2022, 65-year-old Ong Leong Lee (“Ong”) and 49-year-old Hay Ching Lin (“Hay”) were convicted on seven counts under Section 44(1)(a) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Offences (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (“CDSA”). These charges were for being concerned in an arrangement to facilitate the retention of Chong Poh Chin’s (“Chong”) benefits from her criminal conduct, while having reasonable grounds to believe that Chong had benefitted from criminal conduct and that the arrangement would facilitate Chong’s retention of her benefits from criminal conduct.
Hay and Ong were sentenced to 64 months and 56 months imprisonment respectively for offences under Section 44(1)(a) of the CDSA. Hay was sentenced to an additional 1 month imprisonment for offences under Section 48C(1) of the CDSA for failing to declare the cash that he carried from Singapore to Malaysia for Chong, which exceeded the prescribed amount of SGD 20,000 for such declarations.
Investigations revealed that sometime in 2010, Chong, an accounts assistant, devised a scheme to misappropriate monies from her employer, Midpoint Engineering Hardware Pte Ltd (“Midpoint”). She told her friend, Hay, about this scheme and that she needed to transfer monies to a corporate bank account. Chong asked Hay whether he knew anyone who could provide such a bank account.
Hay told Ong about Chong’s scheme and Ong agreed to participate in it. Ong provided the bank account details for his sole proprietorship, Leong Lee Huat Engineering Construction (“LLH”) to Hay, who in turn conveyed them to Chong. Chong filled up numerous cheques issued to LLH and passed the cheques to Midpoint’s director for her signature. From 2011 to 2017, Chong deceived Midpoint’s director into executing 80 fraudulent cheques in favour of LLH for sums totalling more than SGD 2 million.
After the funds from Midpoint were received in LLH’s bank account, the funds were withdrawn in cash, via cheques drafted by Ong. Hay then delivered the cash to Chong’s residence in Malaysia.
Chong had earlier pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 84 months’ imprisonment for cheating offences under Section 420 of the Penal Code and money laundering offences under Section 47(1)(c) of the CDSA in July 2021.
Any person who commits an offence under Section 44(1)(a) of the CDSA (now referred to as Section 51 of the CDSA) shall be liable to a fine of up to $500,000 and/or to imprisonment for a term of up to 10 years.
Any person who commits an offence under Section 48C of the CDSA (now referred to as Section 60 of the CDSA) shall be liable to a fine of up to $50,000, imprisonment for a term of up to three years, or both.
The Police take a serious stance against any person involved in the laundering of proceeds of crime, and offenders will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law. To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, members of the public should reject requests from others to register companies and/or to open bank accounts or receive money in your bank accounts as you may be held accountable, if they are used for criminal activities.