Singapore: gambling syndicate member sentenced

Kiegan Tan Ming Ren was given 17 months in jail and was fined S$60,000.
Kiegan Tan Ming Ren was given 17 months in jail and was fined S$60,000.

The man used proceeds from an online gambling syndicate to fake Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions.

Singapore.- A Singapore court has sentenced a man named Kiegan Tan Ming Ren, 32, to 17 months in jail and a S$60,000 fine after he used winnings from an online gambling syndicate to fake contributions to the Central Fund for Forecast (CPF) for a mortgage loan.

Kiegan Tan Ming Ren, pleaded guilty in December to five counts under the Remote Gambling Act and Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act. Eight other charges were considered in the sentence.

According to Channel News Asia, he was arrested in July 2019 as part of a police operation that resulted in the arrests of 36 people from an illegal gambling syndicate.

During the trial, Ming Ren said that he talked to one of the leaders of the syndicate, Tan Chee Sheng, and told him that he was looking for a job. He quickly joined the ring as an agent on one of the illegal gambling websites the organisation operated.

There, he was directed to find punters to place bets with him. He was later promoted to a master agent account.

This account had a credit limit of S$5m and gave Ming Ren greater supervision and control in the syndicate, including coordinating agents under him.

He initially received a 10 per cent commission on all bets he received, and an additional 5 per cent of the winning amount if he won the bet. Subsequently, he took a position against the bets received, which means that he could share the profits and losses instead of simply taking a commission.

Ming Ren also admitted to transferring criminal proceeds. He said he wanted to get a mortgage loan for his apartment needed to show he was receiving a steady income. To establish his creditworthiness, he decided to pay cash to companies that falsely declared him as an employee.

In 2022, authorities said 2,400 people had been arrested for illegal gambling in Singapore in the last three years. According to The Straits Times, more than 800 arrests were for illicit betting. The Singapore Pools is the only licenced operator of sports betting and lotteries in the country.

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