Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Whitewash

By now, Singapore is a well-known tax haven. The Singapore government may deny it all they want but evidence had shown it to be a fact. Just 2 months ago, Global Witness put up a video showing relatives of Taib Mahmud, the Chief Minister of Sarawak in Malaysia, discussing plans to buy and sell Sarawak land illegally for profit and then evade taxes by funneling money through Singapore.

Also, there is the case of France's former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac, who just last month admitted to having an undeclared foreign bank account here in Singapore. Tax evaders from far and wide are using Singapore and this is a fact.

So it is with some amusement that I read that banks in Singapore are now been forced by the Singapore government to scrutinize their account holders. Fearful of U.S. and European regulators who are on the hunt for tax cheats, the Singapore government is forcing the banks to report accounts they strongly suspected of holding proceeds of fraudulent or willful tax evasion. This must be done before July 1, because after that the handling of proceeds from tax crimes will be a criminal offence.

I find this change to Singapore's anti-money laundering law to be hilarious. After years decades, of accepting dirty money, suddenly Singapore is trying to clean up! I mean what about those 20-30 Indonesians wanted by the Indonesian government who are currently staying in Singapore and had been here for years? What about the money from the relatives of Taib Mahmud? Are we going to pretend their money never came through to Singapore? Trying to clean up now is like trying to paint the house in a new color and pretending that nothing wrong had ever happened before.

Uh...actually that might work! Let Singapore clean up the banks! Let lift the lid on banking secrecy! Let make sure no more illicit funds comes through to Singapore! As for the money already laundered here; it never happened. You guys get a free pass as long as you get your money out before July 1!

Come July 1; hold and behold, Singapore is a "clean" country once again!


Anonymous said...

Don;t you guys know we have signed a secret FTA with our neighbours. They hide their money here and our guys hide their money there. It's a win win situation

Anonymous said...

Everything is done LEEgally here. The court is also on the leegal side.

Ghost said...

Correct! And come 1/7, there will be nothing dirty anymore because all the dirty money would be gone! Come 1/7, everything will be "clean and legal".