SINGAPORE — Total assets seized in a major money laundering case in Singapore have reached S$2.8 billion ($2 billion), with more arrests and seizures possible, a government minister said on Tuesday.

In a speech to lawmakers, Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo said the case was one of the city-state’s largest anti-money laundering operations, and was on the radar of police since 2021 after the filing of suspicious transaction reports by financial institutions.

“We started investigations because we suspected that offenses had been committed in Singapore. Once we confirmed our suspicions, we acted,” said Ms. Teo.

In simultaneous raids in mid-August, authorities seized gold bars, designer handbags and fistfuls of jewelry, as well as scores of properties and luxury cars, in a haul that shocked the wealthy nation known for low crime rates.

Ms. Teo said rumors that the operation happened because of pressure from authorities in China were “completely untrue.” — Reuters