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SG Dishes Out Crypto Licenses as Money Launderer "Transacts" From Jail

$2.8M was moved from Vang Shuiming's Binance account after his arrest for involvement in the S$2.4Bn money-laundering case. Meanwhile, Coinbase, Sygnum and GSR get licenses, Tin Pei Ling moves to DCS, Pudgy Penguins sees volume pump, and Su Zhu's house is a farm tour

Photo by Hasan Almasi / Unsplash

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Forget the Wild West, the crypto industry is transforming into the Wild East. By now, you should already be well versed as to why crypto is far superior to fiat but in case you're still weighing it up, we have a case-in-point for you.

According to recent reports, over US$2.8 million in crypto was reportedly moved from a suspect's account whilst he was still in jail. Vang Shuiming, a Turkish national originally from China, was behind bars in connection to the S$2.4 billion money-laundering case in Singapore.

The suspect was one of ten arrested in the operation and was denied bail by the court due to him being a potential flight risk. Yet, just two days after his arrest he was still able to withdraw from his Binance account, likely through a third party. Court information suggests the assets were transacted by a person of interest after Shuiming's arrest.

Shuiming's total crypto value is believed to be over US$30 million and is linked to substantial wealth overseas including investments in China, land in Cambodia and assets in Turkey. He faces multiple charges including money laundering.

Although Shuiming was not executing the trades from jail, his orders and transactions were still carried out after his arrest. In the traditional finance world, such assets would have been frozen; not in crypto.

While Singapore police are keeping busy digging into one of the Little Red Dot's largest-ever money-laundering cases, MAS is busy handing out crypto licenses.

Coinbase and Sygnum received their Major Payment Institution Licenses yesterday, and GSR received an In-Principal Approval (IPA) earlier today.

Coinbase Wins Major Payment Institution License in Singapore
MAS has awarded Coinbase with a Major Payment Institution License as the SEC continues its battle with the exchange
Sygnum Secures MPI Licence in Singapore, Augments Digital Asset Offerings
The MPIL is a significant milestone reflecting Sygnum’s sustained growth trajectory in Singapore and the broader region, facilitating broader distribution of its tried-and-tested, regulated offerings to strategic investors.

MAS is understandably trying to tame the beast but despite its best efforts, the crypto industry will always retain its dark side. Like a Marvel superhero, crypto has the power to do good or evil - which one will you choose?


  • Tin Pei Ling's New Job: Singapore Member of Parliament Tin Pei Ling has moved on from Grab to join DCS Card Centre (formerly known as Diners Club Singapore). Tin had served as the Director of Corporate Development at Grab, sparking concerns about political conflicts of interest. The new role will see her leading strategic partnerships and business development, strengthening DCS's position in the payment landscape. DCS Card Centre is straddling the traditional payments sector with Web3 through initiatives like its dollar-backed payment token, DCS Token.
  • Nomura Japan Edition: Nomura's cryptocurrency subsidiary, Laser Digital, is opening a new office in Japan. Led by Nomura's former executive director, Hideaki Kudo, the Tokyo office will serve as part of Nomura's Asia expansion. Laser Digital was founded in September 2022 and is headquartered in Switzerland. The company recently obtained a crypto license in Dubai and received in-principle approval from Abu Dhabi Global Market.
  • Pudgy Penguins Pumps on Walmart Sale: After debuting their Pudgy Toys collection in around 2,000 Walmart stores in the US, Pudgy Penguins has seen their trading volume skyrocket. Between 24 September and 1 October, Pudgy Penguins generated $3.32 million in trading volume, marking a 241% surge from the week before. Each purchased toy grants access to the Pudgy World digital gaming platform. The NFT project comprises of 8,888 cartoon penguins with a total volume of 190,563 ETH and a floor price of 4.9 ETH on OpenSea.
  • Su Zhu's Farm House: Su Zhu's house has been transformed into an urban farm called Yarwood Homestead, managed by Abundant Cities - a company co-founded by his wife, Dr Evelyn Tao. Located on Yarwood Avenue, the couple bought the Good Class Bungalow (GCB) for S$48.8 million (US$35.53 million) in March 2022. Liquidators for 3AC are looking to recover assets related to the firm. Abundant Cities researches "nature-based solutions for citizen farmers" according to its website and offers monthly farm tours for $120 per ticket, which includes lunch.