OCBC seeks almost $20m from accused in $2.8b money laundering case, Singapore

OCBC has filed a claim in Singapore’s High Court, seeking at least $19.7 million from money-laundering accused Su Baolin, as well as possession of his mortgaged Sentosa Cove villa.

The bank filed a mortgagee’s claim against the Cambodian national on Oct 25, according to court documents seen by The Business Times (BT). The claim is scheduled for a hearing in chambers on Friday (Dec 1).

Su, one of 10 individuals accused in a $2.8 billion money laundering case, is facing two charges related to forging bank documents with the intention to cheat Citibank and Standard Chartered.

About $99 million in assets under his name and that of his wife have been seized or issued with prohibition-of-disposal orders by the Commercial Affairs Department, including seven properties, six vehicles and money in cash and in bank accounts.

According to court documents, Su paid for the Sentosa Cove property with a housing loan and two credit cards.

OCBC claims that, as at Oct 25, he owed the bank up to $19.5 million. The sum includes interest at 9.75 per cent per annum. The interest rate is 4.75 percentage points above OCBC’s prime lending rate of five per cent, with monthly rests, from Oct 26 to the date of full payment.

Late payment of $80 per month until the date of full payment will also be added to the amount.

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OCBC is also seeking sums of $19,811.53 and $200,758.53, as at Oct 25, in respect of the two credit cards. Both cards have a rate of 27.78 per cent per annum from Oct 26 to the date of full payment, said the court order.

In addition, the bank is seeking a court order to possess 69 Ocean Drive — Su’s villa in Sentosa Cove with unobstructed sea views and a view of Marina Bay Sands. BT previously reported that he purchased the property in March 2021 for slightly over $39.33 million from tycoon Lim Chin Huat.

The property, located on a 1,816.3 sq m plot of land, is believed to have been placed under a prohibition-of-disposal order, which means it cannot be sold.

Such orders were issued on 152 properties as part of the $2.8 billion money laundering case; eight of these properties are landed homes in Sentosa Cove.

Stephanie Chew, a senior associate in litigation at TSMP Law, said entities are able to make a mortgagee’s claim for a property that is under a prohibition-of-disposal order.

“But in the event (the entity) succeeds in its claim, enforcement can take place only when the prohibition order is lifted, unless some other arrangement is agreed to by the police,” she added.

The Ocean Drive property is under construction and not habitable, according to an affidavit filed by a representative of Hin Tat Augustine & Partners, OCBC’s solicitors. Su had submitted plans to build a two-storey detached house with a swimming pool before his arrest in August, and was granted a permit to carry out building works by the Building and Construction Authority in May.

The project was expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2025.

Su, who did not have representation listed for the Dec 1 hearing, is in remand. His Nov 15 bail review was adjourned on the back of concerns over his health; it was previously revealed in court that he has a “serious heart condition” and a high risk of contracting gastric cancer.

He returns to court on Dec 15 for a bail review.

ALSO READ: $2.8b money laundering case: Porsche, 2 Rolls-Royces among luxury cars seized from Bukit Timah bungalow

This article was first published in The Business Times.  Permission required for reproduction.

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