The Singapore authorities are charging a 23-year-old woman for illegally dealing in Bitcoins with funds obtained from criminal activities.
According to The Business Times report on Tuesday, this the first indictment by Singapore law enforcement under the newly introduced Payment Service Act (PSA) 2019.
Under the anti-money laundering (AML) rules, anyone facilitating cryptocurrency transactions needs to obtain a license from the regulator, and the woman had no such business license.
The woman provided digital currency exchange services between February 27 and 28, the Singapore Police Force revealed in an official statement. She received funds from at least 13 fund transfers to her bank account totaling SGD 3,350 (around $2,405) and then used them to purchase Bitcoins.
The police highlighted that the transfers were made under the instruction of an unknown person, and the woman received a commission for her service. Moreover, the funds deposited in her bank account were obtained from the victims of online scams.
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The Singapore authorities are charging the woman under Section 5 of the Payment Services Act 2019.
If found guilty, she is looking at a fine of up to SGD 125,000 (around $89,766) or prison time of up to three years, or both.
The Singapore authorities might set it as an exemplary trial to scare anyone else violating such laws.
Creating a regulated jurisdiction for crypto companies
The city-state enforced the PSA earlier this year, updating the AML rules for all types of digital payments, including digital currencies.
Meanwhile, many global established companies are opening bases in Singapore to expand their businesses in the Asia-Pacific region. The city-state is already known for being a financial hub and is now welcoming crypto companies by introducing regulations.