Under the bill, the maximum financial penalty which may be levied to estate agencies has been raised to $200,000 each instance and $100,000 per instance for land brokers, up from $75,000 previously.
Throughout the second reading of this Bill, Minister of State for National Development Zaqy Mohamad clarified the new maximum penalty for real estate agencies will match the greater commissions that they could possibly earn in comparison to individual property brokers.
The 100,000 maximum fine for land brokers will even better fit the commissions that they get, which can be generally lower in comparison to that of real estate agencies, but could nevertheless be rather high, ” he explained.
The Bill also outlines the responsibilities of property agents and property brokers in preventing money laundering and terrorism funding, as advocated by inter-governmental human anatomy Financial Action Taskforce (FATF).
This comes following the Singapore Police Force (SPF) captured over $27 million in criminal profits from among the largest Ponzi scams in China in 2016.
“The currencies were moved to Singapore to buy a $23.8 million Sentosa Cove bungalow, together with the buy falling through if one of their Ponzi scheme’s crucial accomplices was detained in China,” mentioned Zaqy.
Although investigations revealed no neighborhood celebration was included, the SPF successfully prosecuted the conveyancing attorney and real estate agent involved with the planned property acquisition,” he said.
“Both of them knew that their customer, the bungalow purchaser, was detained in China for involvement in a Ponzi scheme. But obviously, both failed to fulfil their duties to lodge Suspicious Transaction Reports together with the Authorities.”
Property companies are also required to maintain records of the expected diligence checks ran, which might be scrutinized by the Council to get Estate Agencies (CEA).
The Bill also enables CEA to inflict a fine of around $5,000 to property agents and property brokers.
“This gives better deterrence against recurrent and much less significant breaches which don’t justify action by the Disciplinary Committee, but are severe enough to justify punishment,” explained Zaqy.
The ministry, however, noted that such disciplinary proceedings could be resource-intensive, although the”letter of advice” has restricted deterrent and punitive effect.
The Bill also improve CEA’s investigative powers, like requiring someone”to attend before an inspector, provide announcements, and supply records to be inspected, copied or expressed”.
Supplying false or misleading information about the contractor, or refusal to follow the prerequisites would be considered an offence under the Bill.