Confiscation Of Unexplained Wealth From Two Illegal Gambling Agents
In a joint investigation between the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), Heng Ee Howe (Heng), a 60-year-old Singaporean man, was sentenced to an imprisonment term of three months and a fine of $360,000 on 2 March 2018 for assisting in the carrying on of a public lottery and managing of remote gambling by others through the receipt of bets via instant messaging platforms. On the same day, Heng’s wife, Tin Suh Chyong (Tin), a 55-year-old Singaporean woman, was also sentenced to an imprisonment term of two weeks and a fine of $100,000 for similar offences.
On 15 January 2019, Heng and Tin were ordered to pay a sum of $1,093,246.92 and $29,669.81 respectively to the Government for benefits that were believed to have been derived by them from their illegal betting activities.
Police investigations revealed that Heng collected illegal 4D bets on behalf of one Ah Gu for about 15 years, and was assisted by Tin. Heng received commissions from a percentage of the total amount of bets collected and the winnings of each punter. Upon receiving the bets, Heng would consolidate and fax them over to Malaysian runners whose contact details were provided by Ah Gu. Tin would assist Heng to consolidate the bets and fax them to the Malaysian runners whenever Heng was unable to do so. Heng and Tin were convicted of offences under Section 5(a) of the Common Gaming Houses Act (Cap 49, 1985 Rev Ed), and Section 9(1) of the Remote Gambling Act 2014.
In the course of financial investigation against Heng and Tin, prosecution successfully applied for a Restraint Order on Heng’s and Tin’s bank accounts and a Charging Order on their condominium unit, under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (Cap 65A, 2000 Rev Ed), to prevent dissipation of the properties while investigation was ongoing.
Between 1 June 2010 and 3 June 2015, Heng and Tin were found to have accumulated an unexplained wealth of $1,093,246.92 and $29,669.81 respectively. These amounts were disproportionate to their known sources of income. CAD sought a confiscation order against Heng and Tin to forfeit the total illicit income of $1,122,916.73.
Under Section 5(1) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (Cap 65A), any person who is convicted of a serious offence is subjected to have the benefits derived by him from criminal conduct confiscated.
Under the Common Gaming Houses Act, any persons who assist in the carrying on of a public lottery shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than $20,000 and not more than $200,000 and shall also be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years. Under the Remote Gambling Act 2014, any person who provides unlawful remote gambling services for another shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than $20,000 and not more than $200,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both.
Source: Singapore Police Force