Highlights of Singapore’s updated National Money Laundering Risk Assessment (NRA)

Singapore’s updated National Money Laundering Risk Assessment (NRA) has highlighted significant risks in the anti-money laundering (AML) landscape, particularly in the financial sector, where digital payment providers (DPTs) present increasing vulnerabilities.

The full 126-page report identifies new risk sectors that were not included in the last report, published in 2014. These sectors include virtual asset service providers (VAPs) and gem and metal dealers precious.

The banking sector, including wealth management, has been identified as having the highest money laundering risk. Banks are more vulnerable to criminal exploitation due to their role in facilitating large volumes of transactions and serving high-risk customers.

Key findings from the NRA in the AML landscape. Source: MAS

In the financial sector, DPT providers, also known as virtual asset service providers, stand out as a high-risk category. NRA Highlights Increase in Reported Cases Involving DTCs and Various Exploitation Methods

Despite Singapore’s relatively small share of DPT’s global business, authorities are closely monitoring associated risks. Other high-risk sectors of the financial sector include payment institutions that provide cross-border money transfer services and offshore asset managers.

In its risk assessment report, Singapore said the main money laundering threats came from fraud – particularly online fraud – organized crime, corruption, tax offenses and money laundering. money based on trade.

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Typical methods of money laundering include hiding illegal funds in Singapore bank accounts, using shell companies and investing in valuable assets such as real estate or precious metals.

The NRA report combines information from Singapore’s supervisory and law enforcement agencies, the Financial Intelligence Unit, as well as comments from private sector entities and foreign authorities.

Money laundering in Singapore

Singapore’s status as an international financial center and its economic openness expose it to money laundering risks. Criminals exploit the country’s financial and business infrastructure to launder or transfer illicit funds.

Additionally, the transfer of illicit funds to assets such as real estate, digital payment tokens or precious metals poses a significant threat.

In April, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that it would implement amendments to the country’s Payment Services Act (PS Act) to expand the scope of regulated services related to service providers digital payment tokens (DPT).

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