Four Bills introduced by various ministries

Four Bills introduced by various ministries

SINGAPORE - Four Bills were introduced in Parliament over the week, including one that proposes harsher penalties for money laundering.

The amendment to the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes Act raises the maximum penalty for money laundering from seven years' jail to 10.

This is in line with the maximum penalty for terrorism financing, and "part of the Government's efforts to combat transnational crime", the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a press statement on Wednesday.

It will also allow the authorities in Singapore to prosecute money laundering cases which involve funds that come from tax evasion offences overseas, as long as tax evasion is illegal in that country and was committed with the wilful intent to evade tax.

Another proposal allows the authorities to confiscate property

of corresponding value if the offender disposes of the original funds.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Law proposed amendments that will enable Singapore to provide mutual legal assistance to other countries more easily.

One proposed change to the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act is that the dual criminality requirement will be removed for some types of assistance.

The list of offences for which the authorities can provide assistance will also be expanded, as will the types of assistance.

The ministry also introduced much-discussed amendments to the Copyright Act.

If these are passed, rights holders will be able to apply directly to the courts for injunctions to prevent access to websites which flagrantly infringe their copyrights.

It will no longer be necessary to prove that Internet service providers are also liable for copyright infringement.

The aim is not to target search engines or websites based primarily on user-generated content, but those that blatantly disregard copyright, such as file-sharing site The Pirate Bay.

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources also introduced amendments to the Radiation Protection Act on Monday.

Most of these are necessary to meet the obligations of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, which focuses on international nuclear security, including making it an offence to threaten to use nuclear material to cause death, serious injury or property damage.

The Bill also provides for better regulation of radioactive material, and enhances safety for those exposed to radiation.

This article was first published on May 31, 2014.
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