Woman remitted nearly $400k linked to SkillsFuture scam

The Chinese national helped to remit criminal proceeds for two men linked to the $40-million scam involving SkillsFuture Singapore. PHOTO: ST FILE

A woman ran an illegal remittance business and, in less than a year, remitted more than 12 million yuan (S$2.4 million) to designated bank accounts in China, as requested by her clients.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Hsiao Tien said that Chinese national Tang Cheng also helped to remit criminal proceeds totalling $390,000 for two men linked to a scam involving SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG). The scam involved nearly $40 million.

The SSG scheme allows a Singapore business, which had sent its employees for skills training courses with registered training providers, to apply for subsidies.

The syndicate used nine shell companies to commit the offences, submitting over 8,000 claims to SSG between May and October 2017.

One of the men, driver Roger Quek Si Guang, 33, was sentenced to 3½ years' jail in February after pleading guilty to six counts of money laundering. The cases against the second man, Sim Soon Lee, 42, and most of the other alleged members of the syndicate are pending.

Tang, 45, a Singapore permanent resident, was sentenced yesterday to six weeks' jail and a fine of $15,000 after pleading guilty to one count of carrying out a remittance business without a licence.

The court heard that between March 2014 and July 2017, she worked in Golden Dragon Remittance, which is a licensed firm.

But on the side, she ran an illegal operation between March and November 2017, during which she did 73 remittances for 10 people.

Unlike licensed remittance firms, she did not charge service fees for remitting the money.

"She would only ask her customers to pay any administrative fees charged by the banks. The accused claimed that she would usually offer her customers an exchange rate that is around 0.02 yuan lower than the prevailing market rate," the DPP said.

The estimated profits were at least 49,555.86 yuan.

Tang is out on $10,000 bail and will have to surrender herself at the State Courts on May 10 to begin serving her sentence.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2019, with the headline Woman remitted nearly $400k linked to SkillsFuture scam. Subscribe