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Cash Of $400,000 Confiscated After Man Convicted In Court For Failing To Give A Full And Accurate Report Of Cross-Border Movement Of Cash Exceeding $1.9 Million

On 14 November 2023, a 26-year-old male Malaysian, Bryan Woo Kah Hou (“Woo”), was convicted of two offences under Section 60 Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act 1992 (“CDSA”) read with Section 108B of the Penal Code 1871. These were charges for engaging in a conspiracy to move cash into Singapore which exceeded the prescribed amount of SGD 20,000 without giving a full and accurate report to an authorised officer on the movement of that cash on 16 and 20 June 2023 respectively. One further charge under Section 60 CDSA was taken into consideration for the purposes of sentencing. Woo pleaded guilty in the State Couts and was sentenced to a total fine of SGD$ 30,000.

On 20 June 2023, the Police were alerted to a case of a man carrying cash exceeding SGD 20,000 at Changi Airport Terminal 2.  Investigations revealed that Woo, an employee of a money-changing company in Malaysia, had handed a declaration form indicating that he was carrying a sum of BND 468,000 and SGD 37,500 to an Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (“ICA”) officer whilst the ICA officer was conducting routine checks on Woo. Woo was aware that he was carrying a sum in excess of what he declared. Woo then submitted another declaration form to the ICA officer, declaring that he was carrying the sum of BND 1,827,068 and SGD 135,000. Investigations revealed this second form was inaccurate, as further checks by ICA officers revealed that Woo was carrying cash of BND 1,953,818 and SGD 25,235 (that is, a total value equivalent to SGD 1,979,053). The cash was seized as part of investigations. 

Investigations revealed that Woo had previously submitted a false declaration on arrival in Singapore on 16 June 2023 where he declared that he was carrying cash of BND 428,000 and SGD 30,000 (when he was in fact carrying the equivalent of SGD 1,000,000). 

On 1 February 2024, the Prosecution applied for a confiscation order under Section 64 CDSA, for the confiscation of $400,000 from the seized cash. Having considered the matter, the Court ordered confiscation of $400,000.  

Mr David Chew, Director, Commercial Affairs Department, said, “The Cross Border Cash Reporting Regime is one of Singapore’s measures to curb money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal activities. All travelers should do their part, including money service businesses be it regulated in Singapore or elsewhere, by making full and accurate cash movement declarations.” 

All travelers arriving and departing Singapore must make a report of the physical movement of any physical currency and bearer negotiable instruments* (“CBNI”) exceeding SGD 20,000 (or its equivalent foreign currency) into or out of Singapore. The report must be in accordance with Section 60(4) CDSA and must contain full and accurate information relating to the movement of the cash. Failure to do so is an offence. On conviction, an offender shall be liable to a fine not exceeding SGD 50,000, or an imprisonment term not exceeding 3 years, or both. The CBNI may also be seized if an offence is suspected to have been committed in respect of the CBNI. Should an offender be convicted, the court may, on the application of the Public Prosecutor, make a confiscation order in respect of any part of the CBNI, in relation to which the offence was committed, which exceeds the prescribed amount of $20,000.
* Bearer negotiable instruments include traveller’s cheques, bills of exchanges, money orders and promissory notes.


02 February 2024 @ 10:30 AM
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