Foreigners arrested in high-end houses following raids Image Credit: AFP

Singapore: Singapore charged 10 foreigners Wednesday in one of its biggest money laundering and forgery cases involving about S$1 billion ($736 million) of properties, luxury cars, cash and other assets.

The gang was arrested following simultaneous raids August 15 at high-end bungalows and condominiums, according to a statement from the police late Wednesday. The 10 included nationals from China, Cyprus and Turkey. Passports believed to be issued by China, Cambodia and the Dominican Republic were also found.

Authorities prohibited the disposal of assets including 94 properties and 50 vehicles with an estimated value of more than S$815 million. The group was suspected to be involved in laundering the proceeds of crime from their overseas activities including scams and online gambling.

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"We have zero tolerance for the use of Singapore as a safe haven for criminals," said David Chew, director of the white-collar crime department. "Our message to these criminals is simple - if we catch you, we will arrest you. If we find your ill-gotten gains, we will seize them."

The Monetary Authority of Singapore said it will take firm action against financial institutions if there's any breach of anti-money laundering rules. Dubious documentation of the source of wealth and other inconsistencies prompted the banks to file suspicious transaction reports to the authorities, the regulator said.

Eight others are wanted by the authorities. Investigations are ongoing, and more assets may be seized, the police said.

Other assets confiscated include more than 250 luxury bags and watches and over 270 pieces of jewelry. Pictures released by the authorities showed a variety of items ranging from Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars to alcohol and BE@RBRICK collectible toys.