PROSECUTION AND CONVICTIONS UNDER ORGANISED CRIMES ACT

The Organised Crimes Act, passed in 2015, can act as a powerful statutory lever against criminal syndicates involved in activities such as drug trafficking, gambling, gaming, etc. In particular, the Act has provisions that will enable the enforcement authorities to disrupt criminal activities and seize assets even without conviction. In this way, the criminals would be deprived of the profits they would otherwise gain. I sought an update from the Minister for Home Affairs on the use of the Act. He informed that 10 organised criminal groups were investigated. This led to 40 persons being convicted under the Act. My PQ and his answer may be accessed through the link below.

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Mr Murali Pillai asked the Minister for Home Affairs (a) to date, how many persons have been convicted under the Organised Crimes Act; (b) how many organised crime prevention orders or financial reporting orders have been issued; © what is the dollar value of benefits from organised crime activities confiscated; and (d) how many organised crime groups have been crippled.

Mr K Shanmugam: The Organised Crime Act (OCA), was enacted in 2015 to strengthen the ability of our law enforcement agencies to deal with criminal syndicates. To date, the authorities have investigated 10 organised crime groups for offences involving remote gambling and public gaming, and those under the Computer Misuse Act, the Misuse of Drugs Act, and the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes Act. Forty persons have been convicted for offences under the OCA so far.

For the organised crime groups which we have investigated, we have seized or confiscated cash and crime proceeds related to the crimes, as well as other items related to unlawful gambling and drug offences. We do not track the total dollar value of the items seized.

Under the OCA, an Organised Crime Prevention Order may be granted by the Court to prevent, restrict, or disrupt the activities of persons involved in organised crime groups. This imposes restrictions on a person’s activities, such as the premises to which he may have access, and how he may associate with others. The OCA also empowers the Court to grant a Financial Reporting Order, which requires a person to furnish financial reports. To date, no Organised Crime Prevention Orders or Financial Reporting Orders have been issued.

The OCA also provides for a Civil Confiscation Regime, which enables the civil confiscation of benefits from organised crime activities. To date, we have not used the levers under the Civil Confiscation Regime.

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Murali Pillai

Member of Parliament, Bukit Batok SMC, Advisor to Bukit Batok SMC GROs.