Sunday, February 12, 2012

US warns Singapore over money laundering

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's state controlled newspaper The Straits Times of Feb 10, 2012 has the story "Singapore banks seek exemption from US compliance rules". It says "DBS (a Singapore bank) chief executive Piyush Gupta said that if banks had to go through with all the compliance activities in the United States, the costs could be quite prohibitive"

It refers to the US demand that under the "US Foreign Account Compliance Act (FATCA)which will require Singapore financial institutions to look for and report American Account holders or face 30% withholding tax on American investments from 2013".

Gupta further says "Some of the provisions are clearly to my mind extra judicial and extra territorial and they wind up with a huge cost impact on international financial institutions".

Prior to this, the US had gone against Switzerland, in particular it's UBS Bank forcing them to reveal American account holders who have not paid US taxes or face prosecution. UBS gave in, and made a deal with the US Revenue Service which resulted in some prosecutions. Since Switzerland has come clean, it seems some of these Americans have moved their dirty money to Singapore who are now facing the same consequences as the Swiss.

It appears from this newspaper article that Singapore is trying to avoid the same fate of the Swiss by arguing firstly that what US is doing is unlawful because it is "extra jurisdictional" and "extra territorial". Secondly they are arguing that it is is "too costly" to comply.

I am not sure what went on in the head of this man Piyush Gupta, but let me assure him that the Americans are not as stupid as he thinks. Let me tell him that there is nothing "extra jurisdictional" or "extra territorial" for any nation to go against tax avoiders anywhere they are. They are simply criminals which entitles the USA to go after them even if they were on the Moon. Second, the issue of costs has never been a consideration when it comes to apprehending criminals, and the USA is not going to allow this Lee Kuan Yew minion to get away with it, costs or no costs.

Personally I have always believed that trying to survive on vice is not a very reliable living, which Singapore does. It relies on gambling (2 casinos), legalized prostitution in Singapore's Geylang District, money laundering and tax evasion as it's principle sources of income. It appears now, at least the days of it's illegal activities of money laundering and tax evasion are coming to an end. The Americans are at their heels.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Disbarred from practicing law in Lee's Singapore, imprisoned and refused entry to the island for criticizing Singapore's judiciary in this blog (see blogpost May 29, 2008 Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang's Kangaroo Court)
Actively practicing law in California and in good standing at the California Bar.
Member in good standing as a lawyer in England and Wales (Barrister).
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Anonymous said...

When banks whether in Singapore or in any tax haven country collect US dollars deposit,irrespective clean or laundered from businessmen, corrupt politicians or dictators,they pay minimal interest but in turn employ the funds in high interst rates and high risks European sovereign bonds.As long as the sovereign issuers continue to pay the interest on due dates,these banks continue to rake in record profits.
Some of the US dollars are converted into local currencies
as hedge and investments in real estates,That is the reason you see
properties prices in Singapore and Hong Kong shooting through the roof.As was recently reported in local paper an ex-governor from Pakistan bought a $14 million bungalow in Sentosa which was the suject of a legal tussle between the deceased's second wife and the children of the first wife.
Where the hell the ex governor who was apparently gunned down got so much money in a poor country like Pakistan?

Anonymous said...

Shame on America ! This is going to come back and bite them in the ass !

I am an American married to a Singaporean. My Singaporean wife absolutely does NOT want the details of her Singapore bank account released to the American government bandits. What right do they have? Singapore has (or used to have) banking secrecy laws for a reason.

As a result, my wife intends to close our joint account and ALL the money will be in her name only. This will include a huge sum from the sale of a landed property belonging ONLY to her but which otherwise would have gone into the joint account.

That will make life very difficult for me and especially so in the event she dies before I do.

The Singapore government should think long and hard about what it is exposing its own citizens to before it goes off half cocked and kowtows to Washington.

I told my wife you keep all the money. I'd rather I have nothing than risk having to deal with the predators at IRS.

This is a shame because otherwise we would have invested a lot the money in the US. Now, we will avoid the US like the plague and this US citizen may one day have to return to the USA for food stamps as a result.

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face !

The American government is trying to rule the world but this FATCA law proves they are too dumb to do anything but make war and print money.

Good riddance. Singapore has it all over them. I'm applying for citizenship tomorrow !

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous Mar 23, 0324,

The law requiring foreign government to disclose American account holders was put in place precisely to get people like you. As a dead beat tax evader, I am not suprised your taking out your anger at the US rather than yourself. Let me tell you this. The US does not want crooks like you. The best thing Obama ever did was to pass FATCA. You might want to know that I pay my taxes. I have a suggestion for you. Since Singapore is doing the right thing for once by disclosing crooks like you, I suggest you take your money somewhere else. May I suggest the coral attoll of Nauru in the Pacific. There you not only can keep your loot, you can even buy a bank for $500.00.