Company director jailed 2 years for money laundering involving $770k

Andrew Norman Barrell was jailed for two years for money laundering.
Andrew Norman Barrell was jailed for two years for money laundering. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A 55-year-old company director was on Wednesday (May 18) jailed for two years for money laundering.

Andrew Norman Barrell, an Australian citizen, is the second person to be jailed as a "corporate money mule".

He had pleaded guilty to 20 charges: 15 counts of transferring the benefits of criminal conduct and 5 counts of obtaining such benefits.

He admitted to 79 other charges, also under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act.

The court heard that Barrell was the sole director of SGS Consulting Pte Ltd when he entered into a "consulting agreement" between his company and one Graham Robert Etson, who claimed to be working for a Spanish company known as First Global Indemnity SI (FGI).

Under the agreement, SGS would receive funds and hold them on trust for FGI, and transfer them to overseas bank accounts when directed by Graham.

SGCS would be paid a monthly fee, calculated at six per cent of the money held on trust for FGI.

But in fact, SGS received monies of victims, who had been cheated into entering sham share transactions and directed to transfer their monies into SGS' bank account.

O ver a year from September 2009, SGS received a total of $772,518 from victims.

Barrel got $34,150 for himself.

His jail term was backdated to the date of his remand on April 30 last year.

There has been only one other concluded case involving a "corporate money mule". In March, the director of World Eastern International, Abdul Ghani Tahir, 51, was given 30 months' jail after he was found guilty of money laundering following an eight-day trial.

Between April 11 and May 28, 2012, $403,867 in ill-gotten money was deposited into his company's bank account, and $795,802 was transferred out, to accounts overseas.