SHANGHAI: Three Singaporeans, Loh Foy-tau, Mok Kwok-kee, and Lee Kee-yong,
and a Fujian native, Chen Peixiang, were given jail terms ranging from nine to
14 years by the Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People's Court yesterday.
They were found guilty of operating an underground bank.
Loh received 14 years, Mok 14 years, Lee 13 years and Chen, nine years.
The Singaporeans will be deported on completion of their sentences.
The gang, headed by Loh, 30, had remitted 5.3 billion yuan abroad in foreign
currencies from December 2003 to April last year on instructions of the boss of
Blooming Enterprises (BE), a Singapore currency exchange company. The court did
not mention the name of the boss.
They had offices in Shanghai and Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, and opened 68
private accounts in 11 different banks for the illegal trade.
They operated money transfer services between China and foreign countries
The gang said they did not know it was against the law as it was legal in
Singapore. But a scanned copy of a report on China's rules against money
laundering was found in Loh's computer.
Since last year, China has imposed stricter rules to curb money laundering.
Early this year, Wu Ying, a 26-year-old woman in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, was
found to have been operating an underground bank. She was said to have assets of
at least 3.8 billion yuan. She has been arrested and is still being
Loh aroused suspicion early last year when he went to the Pudong branch of
the Bank of Communications almost every day to transfer large amounts of money.
The bank examined his records and reported to the city's anti-money
laundering department. The gang was arrested in April.
The case also resulted in a raid on one of its major clients, an Internet
foreign currency exchange in Tianjin.
It allegedly cheated clients out of millions of yuan. The company claimed it
could provide access to foreign currencies and margin trading. The company told
clients it could turn a relatively small deposit into a 10-fold profit.
The case is said to be the first of its kind to be cracked and is still under
(China Daily 08/07/2007 page4)