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Assets seized in Singapore money laundering case swell to $2.2 billion - media

By Xinghui Kok

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Assets seized in Singapore's biggest money laundering case have risen to more than S$3 billion ($2.24 billion) from S$2.8 billion in October, Singapore's Business Times reported on Friday.

The Business Times reported that 55 new properties and 15 vehicles were given prohibition of disposal orders by the police. Two people, who had left Singapore prior to the raid last year, were issued with arrest warrants and Interpol Red Notices, which is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and arrest them.

Last year, authorities conducted simultaneous raids in mid-August and arrested 10 foreigners holding multiple citizenships in a blitz that captured national attention because of the eyewatering S$1 billion worth of luxury properties, cars, gold bars, handbags and jewellery that were seized.

Singapore police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The amount was later updated to S$1.8 billion in early September as investigations led authorities to assets in Swiss banks, then to S$2.4 billion weeks later and S$2.8 billion in October.

Police had earlier said the 10 suspects were allegedly "laundering the proceeds of their overseas organised crime activities, including scams and online gambling".

The case has prompted authorities to set up an inter-ministerial panel to review the anti-money laundering regime and inspect financial institutions suspected of involvement. Agencies are also reviewing processes that include the central bank's approval for family offices to get tax incentives, and to consider regulating high-value assets, such as luxury cars and bags.

($1 = 1.3403 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by Xinghui Kok; editing by Christina Fincher and Sharon Singleton)