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Last offender in $3b money laundering case gets 17 months' jail

Last offender in $3b money laundering case gets 17 months' jail
Vanuatu national Su Jianfeng, who is originally from China, had pleaded guilty on June 6 to money laundering and forgery.
PHOTO: Fidu Properties

SINGAPORE - Dubai property broker Su Jianfeng has been sentenced to 17 months’ jail, making him the last of the 10 foreigners arrested in an anti-money laundering blitz in August 2023 to be sent to jail.

The 36-year-old Vanuatu national, who is originally from China, had pleaded guilty on June 6 to money laundering and forgery.

Another 12 charges were taken into consideration. They range from forgery and money laundering, to manpower-related offences for hiring a personal chef without a valid work pass.

District Judge James Elisha Lee on June 10 said Su had demonstrated a high degree of disregard for the law in Singapore, with the charges showing he persistently committed the acts over a significant period of time.

As part of his sentence, Su agreed to forfeit $178.9 million of his assets to the state. His forfeited assets represent 95.5 per cent of the $187 million fortune seized from him and his wife Chen Qiuyan.

Court documents showed just after the couple relocated to Singapore in August 2020, they amassed a portfolio of assets which included 12 properties worth $63.9 million and seven vehicles worth $5.2 million.

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To explain his wealth, Su deceived two banks in Singapore by submitting a number of property sales contracts knowing they were false.

Two of the contracts, which he submitted to Maybank Singapore, were for the sale of DC The Grand property number 5101 and property number 3009 to one Li Bao.

A third contract, which was also given to Maybank, was for the sale of Residences_E2 property number 2302 to a Lin Zhenghu.

Su claimed that deposits of $1,029,970 and $969,970 made by a firm named Tuo Xin You were proceeds from the sale of the property.

A fourth contract was for Address Boulevard property number 3101, which was purportedly sold to a Wong Hiuluen, which Su submitted to OCBC Bank.

A fifth contract was for the sale of Emaar Square Bldg 2 property number 408 to a Zhou Weihong, which was also handed to OCBC.

Su claimed that a deposit of $2,999,980 made by Wecord Rich Trading Company was from the sale of the property.

He had also submitted two loan agreements to OCBC that he knew were forged.

In court, Su claimed to have made money as a real estate agent in Dubai.

However, a data leak reported by The Straits Times and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, an investigative journalism group, showed he was a property broker who worked with a Singapore-based businessman to sell properties in Dubai to foreigners in Singapore.

The investors include individuals wanted in China, three other individuals convicted in the $3 billion money laundering probe, associates of the convicts, and a China-born businessman who left Singapore abruptly amid the probe.

In total, they bought at least 126 properties worth more than 537 million dirhams (S$197 million).

The bulk of the properties were luxury units marketed by Fidu Properties, including The Grand at Dubai Creek and Grande Downtown Dubai.

Su himself had purchased 30 properties in Dubai, the leak showed, although ST could independently verify only 12 properties worth more than $21 million in total.

They include apartments at the Burj Khalifa, once the world’s tallest building, and a villa in District One Villas Phase Two, just minutes away from the Crystal Lagoon.

After his arrest by the Commercial Affairs Department, police found he had 12 properties in Singapore, seven luxury vehicles, tens of millions in cash and in bank accounts, and $26 million worth of cryptocurrency.

Su told police investigators he also owned 11 “condominium rooms”, two offices and a villa worth a total of 30 million dirhams in Dubai.

In all, more than $940 million in assets have been forfeited from the 10 convicted foreigners in the case.

Authorities on June 5 said the bulk of the $3 billion in cash and assets involved in the money laundering case belong to 17 other individuals who remain on the run.

The prosecution had sought a jail term between 17 and 18 months for Su, who they said laundered some $17.5 million in Singapore.

They added that Su only opted to plead guilty because it would mean less time behind bars after he learnt about the sentences meted out to the other nine implicated in the case.

Of the 10 convicted, Su Wenqiang, Su Haijin, Su Baolin, Wang Baosen, Vang Shuiming, Zhang Ruijin, Chen Qingyuan and Lin Baoying were jailed for between 13 and 15 months each.

Wang Dehai was sentenced to 16 months.

Four of them – Su Wenqiang, Wang Baosen, Su Baolin and Su Haijin – were deported to Cambodia between May 6 and 28. Vang Shuiming was deported to Japan on June 1.

ALSO READ:?$3b money laundering case - Last man to enter plea 'not truly remorseful', says prosecution

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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