INTERVIEW-Balkans, Singapore top buyers of stolen Nigerian oil-expert
LAGOS, Oct 22 (Reuters) - The main buyers of the 180,000 barrels of oil that thieves steal from Nigeria each day are organised criminal networks in the Balkans and refiners in Singapore, according to a former presidential advisor who launched a campaign against the practice on Monday.
This isn't the first time we have had reports that put Singapore in not so good light, being involved in international scams and syndicates. Below are more examples I wrote in the past.
1. Our squeaky clean image under scrutiny - published in Nov 2007, this article takes a look at how Singapore shelters dirty funds from the Myanmar junta.
2. Singapore Complicit in Laundering Ill-gotten Funds - published in May 2010. This article takes a look at how Singapore allows ill-gotten funds from corrupt Indonesian billionaires a safe haven to hide their illegal money.
Singapore knowingly keeps illicit funds from Indonesia -
I would like to expand the story linked in #2 above. I have written about the issue in detail in May 2011. The issue was about an agreement between Singapore and Indonesia on the extradition of the corrupt Indonesian billionaires, who scooted off with the billions and horde it in Singapore.
Note that it was none other than George Yeo, our then Foreign Minister, who justified why that treaty was not signed... which means Singapore gets to keep those illicit, ill-gotten funds within our shores. Hey, isn't that stealing? The money ain't ours, so why is Sinkiepore keeping it?
Here is the link explaining the above - Our Bad Foreign Relations with Indonesia
Here is the next post mentioning the extradition treaty, made on 15 July 2007.
Replies by Minister George Yeo to Questions in Parliament
Ms Irene Ng Phek Hoong: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs in light of the rejection of the Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between Indonesia and Singapore by the Indonesian Parliamentary Commission for International Affairs and Defence, what are the implications on both the extradition treaty and the DCA.Aww....the heralded FM George Yeo failed to deliver. You can read his explanation (otherwise also known as excuses) for the failure to have that treaty signed in the link above.
Minister: Mr Speaker Sir, it is true that a number of Indonesian DPR members have rejected the Defence Cooperation Agreement (or DCA) even before the Indonesian Government has officially submitted it to the DPR for ratification. Some claimed that the DCA infringed on Indonesia's sovereignty. Others denounced the Extradition Treaty (ET) and DCA agreements as an unfair deal for Indonesia. Many strange allegations were made against the DCA and against Singapore during hearings in the DPR.
What a waste. We have let slipped a good chance to build excellent relations with Indonesia. Damn! Now Ah Beng Chan has more excuses to spend billions more on his defence toys, should he be our next FM or PM.
Here is another update from the same blog, dated 28 Feb 2008.
Speech at Committee of Supply debate on MFA's budget
23 With Indonesia, bilateral relations remain strong although we were not able to see through the Extradition Treaty (ET) and the Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) signed last year. Both sides have agreed to set aside the ET and DCA for the time being and I am happy to inform Ms Rajah and Dr Ong that both sides are also determined not to let this issue affect overall bilateral relations.
So far, that's one side of the story. Let's see the other side. Here's a link from the Indonesians, dated 21 May 2010.
RI, S'pore extradition deal unclear after leaders meet
Leaders of Indonesia and Singapore, the two leading economies in Southeast Asia, have focused on increasing economic cooperation and boosting growth, but seemingly sidelined crucial talks about an agreement on extradition when they met recently.Ah, so now we know why the Extradition Treaty agreement fell through. All along we heard only one side of the story. From Georgie Porgie Yeo. But the Indonesians have a different story altogether.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met this week in Singapore in an informal retreat planned late last year to discuss ways to boost investment and strengthen ties.
Although the plan had been for the agenda to discuss all pressing bilateral issues, an anticipated agreement on extradition sought by Jakarta to bring home corrupt fugitives seeking asylum in Singapore was left out of the talks, Antara news agency reported.
Such an agreement could bring home billions of US dollars lost to graft when Indonesian corruption fugitives fled to Singapore after the 1997 regional financial meltdown.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said Thursday the main focus of the discussion was economic issues, but he could not confirm whether the leaders had touched on the extradition agreement.
In 2007, an agreement on defense was signed by the two governments but later annulled by Indonesian lawmakers who rejected a term that allowed Singapore's armed forces to conduct exercises on Indonesian soil in return for Indonesia being allowed to force the return of Indonesian criminals in Singapore.
Kemal Azis Stamboel, chairman of House of Representatives' Commission I overseeing defense and foreign affairs, said the current commission (2009-2014) shared the same position on the agreement as their predecessors.
He said any extradition deal made with Singapore must be reciprocal, where both countries would be allowed to extradite criminal suspects - and that such an agreement should not have to be brokered with an offer to allow a foreign military access to Indonesian territory.
The extradition agreement has become a priority for Jakarta because Singapore has been used as a safe haven for Indonesian corrupt fugitives to escape to with their illegal assets.
A failure to agree to such a deal could strain relations with close neighbor, especially given that China agreed to an extradition agreement in 2009 and negotiations for the implementation of a similar deal with Australia are ongoing.
Reports have shown there is more money derived from corruption in Indonesia in Singapore than in Australia or China.
Some sources say that Singapore would only agree to a reciprocal agreement on extradition that excluded cases from the time of the 1998 financial crisis because it involved a huge amount of money and extracting it all could upset financial markets in Singapore.
During Monday's talks on bilateral economic cooperation, both leaders agreed to increase investment and trade cooperation by working to fulfill the potential of Indonesia's free trade zones of Batam, Bintan, and Karimun.
Singapore is Indonesia's fourth-largest trading partner. Bilateral trade stood at US$25 billion in 2009 and Singapore's investment in Indonesia was $4.5 billion in the same year.
Some very pertinent points -
1. The corrupted gains held by Singapore is illegal and is not ours. Who the heck is Singapore to harbour these ill-gotten gains, which rightfully belongs to Indonesia? This illegal action of harbouring illegal ill-gotten funds is endorsed by non other than our Foreign Minister, George Yeo.
2. It does seem to appear the it is the Singapore side that is eager to have the extradition treaty stalled, in view of the fact that Spore tied that treaty to a highly implausible clause of allowing our troops access to Indonesian territory.
3. The fact that Spore wanted an exclusion of cases from the 1998 financial crisis as part of the agreement on the extradition treaty, shows that Spore is bent on keeping those ill-gotten funds, which rightfully belongs to Indonesia.
For all the claims by the PAPpy that we have a clean un-corrupt govt that does not tolerate crimes and are strong in ethics, there are shady dealings that don't escape international scrutiny.
The latest is the stolen Nigerian oil scam, where Singapore is a major buyer. About time the PAPpy govt explains itself to Sinkies.