Singaporean money-launderer has business link to Dubai rulers

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Singaporean, Money-launderer, Su Jianfeng, Fidu Property Real Estate Brokerage, Fidu Properties DMCC, Emaar Properties PJSC, Dominica

Su Jianfeng, a Singaporean money-launderer and fraud in detention and awaiting trial is the owner of Dubai-based real estate brokerage firm named Fidu Properties DMCC, while part of the Fidu Property Real Estate Brokerage is a top partner for Emaar Properties PJSC – a company partly owned by Dubai rulers. According to OCCRP report, Su Jianfeng was able to accumulate a property portfolio of his own, despite a 2017 Chinese arrest warrant for his involvement in illegal gambling. Jianfeng and two other members of the transnational money laundering racket – including one who has already pleaded guilty – own over US$30 million of Dubai real estate, some in projects developed by royal family owned maar Properties PJSC and brokered by Fidu Property Real Estate Brokerage.

Fidu Properties had made its mark in Dubai, the company’s logo was emblazoned along the length of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper.

The honor in 2019 marked a rapid ascent for Fidu, which had been set up barely two years earlier. Its success was aided by a partnership with Emaar Properties PJSC, Dubai’s largest property developer that is part-owned by the Dubai ruler’s investment vehicle.

Within a few months of opening its Dubai office in 2018, Fidu and Emaar struck a US$100-million deal in one of the developer’s luxury projects, The Grand at Dubai Creek Harbour, according to press reports. By 2019, Emaar-built developments accounted for at least 90 percent of Fidu Properties’ sales, according to Fidu press releases.

But in August last year, Su Jianfeng, a key figure behind Fidu, was arrested in Singapore in a dramatic bust of an alleged money laundering ring that has since led to the seizure of more than US$2.2 billion in assets. Singapore police have charged 10 people with laundering the proceeds of illegal online gambling and scam operations across southeast Asia. Su Jianfeng was also the subject of a 2017 Chinese arrest warrant for illegal gambling.

Despite the Chinese warrant for his arrest, 36-year-old Su Jianfeng — who holds Chinese, Cambodian, St Kitts and Nevis and Vanuatu passports — was able to pour huge sums into Dubai real estate.

A source told Blitz, Su Jianfeng contacted one of the agents of Dominica inquiring about possibility of buying a diplomatic passport.

Meanwhile, an investigation by OCCRP and The Straits Times, based on leaked property data from Dubai, reveals that Su Jianfeng and two other people arrested in the money laundering case invested more than US$30 million in Dubai real estate, through projects mostly developed by Emaar and brokered by Fidu.

Three other people named in connection with the case own properties worth over US$40 million. One of them shares an address with two men who, like Su Jianfeng, are wanted in China for illegal gambling, and they too own significant real estate assets in Dubai.

Surprisingly, information related to Su Jianfeng’s owning massive property in Dubai and his business connections with Dubai rulers have not appeared in any of the media outlets in the world until recently, when OCCRP went to press on Jianfeng.

According to leak data, the newly discovered purchases involve over 100 properties, bought for more than US$100 million in total. They include units comprising entire floors of the Grande Downtown, a luxury skyscraper opposite the Burj Khalifa – worth minimum US$ 47 million. These purchases took place between October 2019 and 2020.

Benedikt Hofmann, the deputy representative for Southeast Asia at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime told investigators, while such “high volume property investments” are not “automatically tied to money laundering”, they “can definitely be a red flag”.

Many of the properties identified by reporters were in other flagship Emaar developments in Downtown Dubai, and The Grand at Dubai Creek Harbour, both advertised and marketed by Fidu Properties.

On videos posted to Fidu’s social media accounts, Su Jianfeng presents as a boyish and modestly dressed executive — yet clearly in charge. He leads Fidu executives into a black-tie gala event to rapturous applause from employees in one video. In another, he presides over the opening of a second company office in September 2019, cutting a large red ribbon as staff clap.

Between 2017 and 2020, Su Jianfeng purchased at least 10 apartments and two villas in Dubai, worth at least US$15 million, according to leaked transaction data reviewed by OCCRP.

In April 2019, he co-founded Fidu Properties DMCC, an affiliate of Fidu Property Real Estate Brokerage that had been incorporated in Dubai in late 2017.

Fidu Properties DMCC is based out of Dubai’s free-trade zone, where foreign investors can take advantage of tax breaks, ease of capital transfer, and the right to full foreign ownership. He controls a 50 percent stake in the company and is one of two directors, Dubai company records reveal.

The other half of Fidu Properties DMCC is held by Su Sihai, who is the sole shareholder of the affiliated company, Fidu Property Real Estate Brokerage. Su Sihai has not been implicated in the Singapore money laundering case and has not been charged with any crime.

In the wake of the 2023 arrests, Singapore police seized more than US$170 million worth of assets in Singapore belonging to Su Jianfeng, including at least 13 properties there worth over US$85 million.

Two of Su Jianfeng’s alleged co-conspirators also own property in Dubai. One of them, Su Haijin, has already pleaded guilty and in April was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment. Like many of the other arrested suspects, Su Haijin has sizable asset portfolios all over the world, as reported by OCCRP.

Lin Baoying, a citizen of Dominica and Cambodia, is the third person arrested by Singapore police who has newly-revealed Dubai assets. She owns a luxury villa at Emirates Hills, an Emaar development, worth at least US$7 million. She is in Singapore awaiting trial.

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