Accused in billion-dollar money laundering case may be part of syndicate: DPP
There is information that the accused being investigated in the billion-dollar money laundering case are working in a network, the prosecution told the court on Wednesday.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Jean Ting said this in arguing against bail for one of the accused, Su Baolin, 41, as there may be a need to interview witnesses who are not among the 10 who have been charged so far.
She said there was a risk of contamination of evidence and collusion if bail was granted.
Six of the 10 accused appeared via video link at the State Courts on Wednesday morning to have their cases heard after they were charged on Aug 16, with the rest expected to do so in the afternoon.
Su Baolin, a Cambodian national, was charged with using a forged document. He was arrested at a good class bungalow (GCB) in Nassim Road and was allegedly found in possession of a foreign passport believed to be issued by China.
His lawyer Sunil Sudheesan requested for bail to be granted for him, citing health reasons.
“The last thing we want is the accused person to get a heart attack in CMC while under investigations,” Mr Sudheesan said.
But DPP Ng objected, saying there was nothing to suggest his condition could not be handled while in remand.
District Judge Terence Tay agreed with the prosecution and denied bail.
He also denied Mr Sudheesan’s request to meet his client before Aug 29 – the date permitted by the prosecution – despite the lawyer’s lengthy submissions on why he should be allowed to do so.
Also appearing in court was Su Baolin’s brother, Su Haijin, 40, a Cypriot national, who had been charged with one count of resisting arrest.
Su Haijin allegedly jumped out of the second-floor balcony and was found hiding in a drain by the police. He fractured his hands and legs due to the jump, and was taken conscious to hospital.
On Wednesday, Judge Tay allowed an application for Su Haijin’s lawyer, Mr Julian Tay, to visit him at Changi General Hospital for 15 minutes to discuss the need for surgery in the presence of an investigating officer.
Mr Tay said his client suffered fractures to his heels, femur and wrists.
Su Haijin asked the court if he could make arrangements for the surgeon to operate on him. Judge Tay said this would be done in consultation with his lawyer and the hospital.
The judge allowed Su Haijin to see his family in court via his lawyer’s laptop camera, but he could not communicate with them. Su Haijin waved to them, with his hand in a cast.
Chen Qingyuan, 33, was the first to have his case heard on Wednesday.
DPP Edwin Soh said Chen had three luxury cars seized, and one property was issued with a prohibition of disposal order, which means it can’t be sold.
DPP Soh said they were still tracing the source of funds for these assets valued at around $10 million, and the police were waiting for bank documents to be submitted.
Chen was denied a phone call with his wife. DPP Soh said he could be speaking with her about dissipation of assets and external parties may be involved through his wife.
Su Wenqiang was next, and the DPP said two luxury cars worth $600,000 were seized under his wife’s name.
Su Wenqiang asked for an earlier date for his next court hearing, saying he would try to cooperate with the authorities.
But Judge Tay did not grant this as the prosecution was still gathering evidence.
Lin Baoying, the only woman among the 10 charged, had two cars seized, and five properties issued with the prohibition of disposal order. They were all listed under her name.
DPP Soh said the total value of the assets seized from her was significant, as they were worth $72 million.
He said they needed to determine the source of funds for these properties and cars, and were waiting for bank documents from five financial institutions regarding accounts her spouse has with the banks.
Lin and her lover, Zhang Ruijin, were arrested at a bungalow in Pearl Island at Sentosa Cove.
Zhang allegedly had a foreign passport believed to be issued by Saint Kitts and Nevis, an island nation in the Caribbean.
Lin was allegedly found with foreign passports believed to be issued by Dominica and Turkey. The police said officers seized cash of more than $7.6 million, and issued prohibition of disposal orders for nine properties and five vehicles with an estimated value of over $106 million.
When they were charged, Zhang referred to Lin and told the court: “You can separate her crimes from me, we are just lovers... You can bail me out, but remand her.”
Wang Dehai, 34, had properties seized in excess of $49 million, and DPP Ng told the court there was a review of 11 seized devices.
He told the court: “I’m being illegally detained. I have been in Singapore for five years and I have not done anything unlawful.”
District Judge Tay said he could make his defence at a later stage.
The six accused will return to court on Aug 30.