Man who moved undeclared $1.18m cash in and out of S'pore fined

A 37-year-old man has been convicted for failing to declare the movement of $1.18 million in cash in and out of Singapore over the course of one year.

Alvin Lee Khai Wui was fined $30,000, the police said yesterday.

The police said they were alerted on Feb 22 last year that Lee had attempted to smuggle $300,000 into Singapore at Tuas Checkpoint.

Lee was stopped for a routine check when driving into Singapore in a Malaysia-registered car.

When asked by the immigration officer on duty if he had anything to declare, Lee said he did not.

The immigration officer carried out an inspection and found a laptop bag on the back passenger seat of the car.

Lee was asked to open the laptop bag, which contained a purple pouch with $300,000 - made up of 300 pieces of $1,000 banknotes - which was then seized.

Lee had intended to use the money to gamble at the Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) casino in Singapore and failed to report to an immigration officer regarding the movement of more than $20,000 in cash.

Police said that investigations also showed Lee had committed 21 similar offences between June 2017 and February last year.

Lee, who is a Malaysian national, is the executive director of ML Sepakat, a Malaysian construction company dealing with infrastructure work.

He claimed that the undeclared money he brought into Singapore was his savings and money from the sale of properties in Malaysia.

The money he took out of Singapore included his withdrawals and winnings from RWS and Marina Bay Sands casinos.

Lee was convicted in the state courts last Thursday.

Anyone convicted of not declaring the physical movement of cash exceeding $20,000, or the equivalent in foreign currency, into and out of Singapore, can be fined up to $50,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2019, with the headline 'Man who moved undeclared $1.18m cash in and out of S'pore fined'. Print Edition | Subscribe