SINGAPORE, June 12 — For more than a year, Chua Hock Hua used different bank accounts to help unknown parties he met online to transfer funds to other people he also did not know personally, in exchange for a cut of the sums transferred.

At one point, after his accounts were frozen and he had been warned by the authorities to stop such transactions, Chua even used an ex-colleague’s account to continue to do so.

On Tuesday (June 11), the 59-year-old Singaporean was sentenced to two years and three months’ jail.

Chua, who had no legal representation, pleaded guilty to five counts of assisting another party to retain benefits from criminal conduct. Three related charges were taken into consideration during the sentencing.


In total he had helped to launder almost S$410,000.

What happened

The court heard that in January 2022, a police report was lodged over a POSB bank account belonging to Chua. He had used the account to receive monies on behalf of someone he met online and remitting the funds overseas.


After investigations, the police issued Chua an advisory to refrain from dealing with funds from unknown or dubious sources. He was advised that if he continued doing so, he would be liable for money laundering.

In October that year, Chua got acquainted with a person on Facebook known only as “Donald”.

Chua confided in him that he owed about S$16,000 to moneylenders. Donald proposed that Chua provide him his bank account for Donald to use for transferring money. In return, Chua would get a 3 per cent cut of the funds being moved.

Chua agreed and provided Donald with details of his UOB bank account. Chua would withdraw the monies transferred there and pass the cash physically to another person known only as “Andy”.

The UOB account was frozen on Dec 1, 2022 following a police report.

“The accused thus had reasonable grounds to believe that Donald was a person who was engaged in criminal conduct, and that the monies he received on Donald’s instructions were Donald’s benefits of criminal conduct,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Jordon Li.

In spite of this, Chua provided two more bank accounts — with HSBC and Maybank — to Donald so that he could continue to earn the 3 per cent commission.

These accounts were frozen after victims of online scams lodged police reports, stating that they were duped into transferring money into those two accounts.

“The monies that the accused received in the bank accounts, and which he withdrew and handed to Andy, were thus Donald’s benefits of criminal conduct,” said the prosecutor.

After the freezing of the UOB account, Chua was summoned by the police to assist with investigations.

He was told that the bank accounts provided to Donald had been used to receive proceeds from criminal conduct.

Despite the warnings, Chua opened two more bank accounts — with OCBC and POSB — in May and August 2023 to continue his arrangements with Donald.

And when these accounts were frozen, Chua in February this year approached an ex-colleague of his to receive money to be handed over to Andy.

Chua promised him a 4 per cent cut of the funds transferred, but he did not tell the ex-colleague that his own accounts had been frozen for carrying out such activities.

On Tuesday the prosecutor told the court that the ex-colleague was given an advisory by the police not to repeat the conduct.

For each count of assisting another party to retain benefits from criminal conduct, Chua could have been jailed up to 10 years, fined up to S$500,000 or both. — TODAY