MAS working with police to scrutinise other aspects of Wirecard case

The Monetary Authority of Singapore noted that it requires financial institutions to report all suspicious transactions. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (REUTERS, THE STRAITS TIMES) - Singapore's central bank is working with the police to scrutinise collapsed German payments company Wirecard, it said on Monday (June 29).

Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), the police unit that deals with white-collar crime, began criminal investigations into Wirecard's Singapore operations in February 2019.

But in view of the recent developments, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) are now collaborating with CAD "to scrutinise other possible aspects of the case", MAS said.

It added in a statement: "Due to the cross-border nature of some of the transactions, Singapore authorities have reached out to relevant foreign authorities for further information and also stand ready to assist investigations by foreign authorities where requested."

MAS noted that it requires financial institutions to report all suspicious transactions, "including transactions that are large, complex or present unusual patterns with no apparent economic or lawful purposes".

It said that it has been in touch with relevant financial institutions to determine if there had been any abuse of Singapore's financial system for illicit purposes.

"We will take firm action if we find evidence of criminal behaviour or serious lapses in anti-money laundering controls," said the spokesman.

Wirecard filed for insolvency last week after saying that €1.9 billion (S$3 billion) previously reported as cash on its balance sheet probably doesn't exist.

The Munich court on Monday (June 29) said that it has appointed Mr Michael Jaffe to manage the insolvency of Wirecard.

Meanwhile, the Philippines' anti-money laundering agency said on Monday said it would conduct a "swift and thorough" investigation into Wirecard and that it has drawn up an initial list of people and entities of interest.

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