DBS accepts offers totalling over S$100 million for 13 mortgaged shophouses linked to money launderers

Citi Commercial Pte Ltd

DBS is understood to have accepted offers for 13 mortgaged shophouses in Chinatown and Geylang owned separately by two individuals connected to the S$3 billion money laundering case.

The two men – Su Fuxiang and Su Binghai – left Singapore abruptly amid the money laundering bust last year, The Straits Times reported previously. The duo are connected to Wang Dehai, one of the 10 people from Fujian, China, convicted in Singapore’s biggest money laundering case.

DBS put the companies which held the shophouses into receivership in September last year. A receiver is appointed to take possession of and sell or liquidate assets in order to repay a company’s outstanding debt.

Talk in the market is that DBS has accepted an offer of about S$45 million for 4, 5 and 6 Stanley Street, which works out to S$4,192 per square foot on the estimated built-up area of 10,735 sq ft stated in a release issued early this year by Knight Frank Singapore.

The property consulting group marketed the freehold shophouse trio on behalf of KPMG Services, which DBS appointed as the receiver of Aalto Group, which holds the three shophouses.

Su Fuxiang, the sole shareholder of Aalto, acquired all the shares in the company in 2021 from entities of the Calamander Group, based on a report in The Business Times in 2021; that deal also priced 4,5 and 6 Stanley Street at around S$45 million.

Su Fuxiang is also the sole shareholder of another Singapore-incorporated company, Suyh Pte Ltd, which owns a row of five adjoining three-storey freehold shophouses at 236, 238, 240, 242 and 244 Geylang Road. DBS is understood to have accepted an offer of about S$37 million for these properties. This works out to about S$1,626 psf on a floor area of around 22,756 sq ft. DBS appointed FTI Consulting as the receiver for Suyh.

The Geylang Road properties were one of three batches FTI advertised for sale in BT in early December last year. The other two are 182 Telok Ayer Street and 55-58 Amoy Street, both owned by Singapore-incorporated Jiasheng Amoy, for which DBS also appointed FTI as the receiver.

Jiasheng Amoy is fully owned by Su Binghai.

Two Malaysians pay S$16.5m for 182 Telok Ayer Street

Word on the street is that DBS has accepted an offer of S$16.5 million for the 999-year leasehold shophouse in Telok Ayer Street. The price works out to nearly S$4,800 psf on a floor area of 3,440 sq ft. The shophouse has three storeys and a mezzanine level. The property is understood to have been bought by two Malaysians.

For 55, 56, 57 and 58 Amoy Street, DBS is said to have accepted an offer of about S$21 million to S$22 million, which works out to around S$4,600 to S$4,800 psf on a floor area of about 4,570 sq ft. The four adjoining two-storey shophouses are on 999-year leasehold land.

A DBS spokesperson said: “We engaged FTI Consulting and KPMG as our receivers to place the properties on the market through an open and transparent conduct of sale. Both receivers independently assess all potential bids, which includes conducting all due diligence checks required as part of the mortgage recovery process that takes place in Singapore.”

Both Su Fuxiang and Su Binghai are shareholders of New Future Holdings, which nominated Wang for his Sentosa Golf Club membership.

FTI has also put other shophouses on the market owned by entities connected to Su Binghai. These include 6 Mosque Street, and 22 and 23 Mosque Street, both held by another of his fully owned Singapore companies.

In February and March, FTI advertised these two assets, along with 202 and 204 South Bridge Road. Potential buyers had to submit their offers by Mar 27.

The South Bridge Road pair of shophouses is owned by Xin Xin Consultancy, whose sole shareholder is Chinese national Chen Lingling. The company has taken loans from DBS and UOB. DBS registered three charges against the company – two in 2021 and one in 2022. UOB has a charge, registered in 2021. The company entered into receivership in October 2023.

Xin Xin also owns 96 Amoy Street.

In February, BT reported that following the issuance of prohibition of disposal orders by the Singapore Police Force against several shophouses as part of the investigations on the money laundering case, DBS informed the police that some of these shophouses are owned by companies that had defaulted on their loans. The bank sought permission to exercise its contractual rights to repossess and sell the properties. The police, in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, considered and acceded to the request to initiate the process to sell the properties.

In all, assets worth more than S$3 billion have been seized by the authorities in the money laundering bust. These assets were held by the 10 convicted as well as another 17 individuals who fled Singapore.

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