Cambodian in $3b money laundering case will be deported, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Cambodian in $3b money laundering case will be deported

Cambodian national Su Wenqiang – the first person to be sentenced in Singapore’s largest money laundering case – will be deported after his release from prison.

He will also be barred from re-entering Singapore, an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) spokesman told The Straits Times on April 4.

As to which country he will be sent back to, the spokesman said that “the location of deportation is dependent on the admissibility of the foreigner based on his or her valid passport”.

Su became a Cambodian national on Oct 7, 2019. He also holds passports from Vanuatu and China.

The 32-year-old was sentenced to 13 months’ jail on April 2 after pleading guilty to two money laundering charges, becoming the first of 10 foreigners to be convicted over a probe that saw more than $3 billion in cash and assets seized.

Su was arrested on Aug 15, 2023, and had been in remand for almost eight months.

Associate Professor Mervyn Cheong from the National University of Singapore said that if Su’s sentence is backdated to his date of arrest, then he might be out at the end of April, or early May.

Under the Prisons Act, an inmate will receive a one-third remission unless certain incidents occur while he serves his sentence – for example, he commits an offence such as rioting in prison.

Prof Cheong, who practises at Advocatus Law, said that with the remission, Su’s effective jail term is about 8½ months.

Speaking from his experience, he said that foreigners are typically deported after they complete their sentences. This is because they are no longer considered desirable persons to remain in Singapore, and not because there is any law or international agreement that governs the deportation of such offenders, said Prof Cheong.

He added that the foreigner or his family also has to pay for his own airfare.

As to which country Su would go to, Prof Cheong said it is not where Singapore wants to deport him back to, but where his passport allows him to travel. He said foreign offenders will usually travel back to where they are a citizen of.

Su has been on China’s wanted list for illegal online gambling activities since 2017.

Singapore does not have extradition treaties with China and Cambodia. However, it has an extradition arrangement with Vanuatu, a part of a scheme for extradition between Commonwealth countries.

On whether Su’s family might also be deported, Mr Woon said it depends on their own immigration status and whether they have violated any conditions of their permit or pass.

money laundering