Woman first to be charged under new anti-money laundering law

Lange Vivian was charged with one count of providing payment services without a licence under the Payment Services Act.
Lange Vivian was charged with one count of providing payment services without a licence under the Payment Services Act.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A 23-year-old woman is the first person to be charged under a new law that fights money laundering and terrorism financing.

Lange Vivian was on Wednesday (June 24) charged with one count of providing payment services without a licence under the Payment Services Act.

The law, which also aims to strengthen consumer protection in the use of e-payments, was introduced on Jan 28.

The Singaporean allegedly provided a digital payment token service between Feb 27 and 28 this year.

In a statement on Tuesday, the police said that she allegedly received at least 13 fraudulent fund transfers this way.

In total, she is accused of receiving around $3,000 in her bank account.

Lange is said to have then used the proceeds to buy Bitcoin.

"These transactions were done on the instruction of an unknown person in return for a commission.

"The monies deposited in her bank account turned out to be proceeds of crime from victims of online scams," a police spokesman said.

The police did not reveal details of these scams.

Lange had earlier been charged with 10 counts of acting on behalf of a loan shark known only as "Boss".

On May 13 last year, Lange and another man are said to have gone to a Housing Board flat in Hougang to commit acts such as defacing the front door with paint.

They are also accused of targeting other flats at places such as Toa Payoh and Tampines. This went on until May 21 last year.

Lange's bail was set at $15,000 and her pre-trial conference will be held on July 22.

If convicted of the offence under the Payment Services Act, she can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $125,000.

For each charge of acting on behalf of a loan shark, an offender can be jailed for up to five years, fined a maximum $50,000 and receive up to six strokes of the cane.

Lange cannot be caned, as she is a woman.