CCH Learning SEA


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Singapore is recognized for its robust legal and regulatory infrastructure designed to combat money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF). The nation's Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) strategy is well-coordinated, engaging all relevant authorities to ensure a comprehensive approach to these threats. Singaporean authorities possess a sound understanding of the ML/TF risks present within the region and actively develop comprehensive strategies to mitigate these risks.

However, despite this strong framework, Singapore faces continued challenges in combating sophisticated ML/TF schemes, particularly among Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs). DNFBPs currently encompass dealers in precious stones and precious metals, real estate agents, legal professionals, corporate service providers, public accountants, casinos, and pawnbrokers. Their varied levels of understanding of ML/TF risks can lead to vulnerabilities in Singapore's regulatory framework.

The recent billion-dollar money laundering case involving individuals linked to Cambodia and China's Fujian province illustrated these vulnerabilities. This network exploited luxury real estate, collector items, and high-end vehicles to launder illicit funds through complex structures and shell companies. The case highlighted how regulatory loopholes and gaps in understanding and compliance by DNFBPs created entry points for these illicit activities.

Additionally, the global impact of the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers investigations exposed how elite individuals and entities exploited loopholes in the international financial system. They manipulated offshore jurisdictions, including corporate service providers and law firms, to hide assets and evade taxes, underscoring the importance of vigilance in DNFBPs.

These examples highlight the necessity for continuous advancement in compliance strategies and the importance of thorough understanding and implementation of AML measures across all sectors. DNFBPs must pay special attention to these requirements due to their varying levels of awareness and maturity in managing ML/TF risks.

Programme Outline

1. Introduction to AML/CFT Frameworks in Singapore

  • Overview of Singapore’s AML/CFT legal and regulatory structure
  • Role of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and other regulators in the coordination process
  • Impact of international frameworks (e.g. FATF Recommendations) on Singapore's AML/CFT strategy

2. Case studies and lessons learnt

  • Billion-dollar money laundering case in Singapore: Discuss regulatory loopholes, and how DNFBPs were implicated and strategies to strengthen compliance
  • Panama and Paradise Papers: Importance of enhanced due diligence in identifying suspicious offshore structures

3. AML Compliance for DNFBPs

  • Specific risks and challenges faced by DNFBPs (precious stones/metals traders, real estate agents, legal professionals, corporate service providers, accountants, casinos, and pawnbrokers).
  • Strategies for effective compliance with AML/CFT regulations
  • Closing the luxury goods loophole in money laundering

4. Best Practices in Fraud Detection and Prevention

  • Leveraging technology to enhance AML/CFT measures
  • Adopting comprehensive risk assessment and monitoring practices
  • Developing internal controls and training programs tailored to each DNFBP sector

This workshop qualifies for 6.0 CPE hours in Ethics and Professionalism (Category 2).

What you will learn

  • Gain deeper insights into Singapore’s AML/CFT framework, focusing on specific requirements for financial institutions and DNFBPs.
  • Learn from money laundering case studies and international schemes to understand practical challenges and compliance pitfalls.
  • Understand emerging fraud risks and regulatory trends to refine your compliance strategy.

Target Audience

  • Compliance officers and analysts
  • DNFBP professionals (i.e. precious stones/metals dealers, real estate, legal, corporate service providers, accountants, casinos, pawnbrokers)
  • Risk management professionals seeking practical AML strategies

Expert Speaker

Chia Shu Siang
Director, Risk Advisory, Crowe Singapore

Shu Siang is highly experienced in helping clients to tailor their annual audit plans based on assessment of their risks and exposures, to address their Strategic, Financial, Operational, Compliance, IT and Climate risks. These ensured his clients’ compliance with relevant regulations and company policies.

He leads and coordinates risk assessment and internal audit assignments across various industries and regions (including financial institutions, listed companies, and MNCs). With his sound and practical recommendations, he had also helped his clients achieve cost savings, improve controls and streamline operations.

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