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News / Exclusive Singapore Wine Club Shuts Down As The Super-Rich Make Way For Discreet Choices

Exclusive Singapore Wine Club Shuts Down As The Super-Rich Make Way For Discreet Choices

The prominent private club of Singapore, which is renowned for catering to rich ethnic Chinese customers has closed down as they opted for discretion.

03 min read

A luxe private wine club in Singapore that catered primarily to wealthy Chinese clients has closed due to the growing preference of these ultra-rich citizens of the Asian financial hub for secrecy over ostentatious shows of wealth, reported by the Financial Times.

As per experts, the closure of the club comes at a time when the sales of luxury goods, for instance, high-end apartments, watches, expensive bags, cars, and golf memberships have dropped sharply in the city following the $2.2 billion laundering investigation.

Circle 33 launched in 2021, was reputed for offering an extensive wine menu with prices ranging in hundreds of thousands of dollars, serves as a representation of the rich influx into Singapore during the pandemic, particularly of super-rich Chinese from the mainland fleeing the ruthless restrictions in China.

The closure of a high-end private club situated inside a colonial property on Scotts Road in the Orchard – an upmarket neighborhood – has been confirmed after it failed to renew its lease in 2022, sources said.

In August last year, ten people — all with links to China — were arrested and charged by Singaporean officials in connection to the largest money laundering and fraud investigation, valued at $2.2bn. Along with these, the police also recovered assets including luxury houses, sports cars, designer handbags, gold bricks, cash, and cryptocurrency from across the town.

Authorities are now paying keen attention to Singapore’s high-net-worth individuals after a probe was conducted in September, by visiting car dealerships and real estate agencies and warning against luxury groups like automobiles, watches, and handbags for carrying anti-money laundering controls in October, says a news report.

The Singapore authorities are tightening the regulations on the family offices in the wake of the record money-laundering scandal. Alongside this, private banks have tightened board due diligence practices for new clients as well, which causes a delay in opening accounts and setting up family offices.

As per different market dealers, the rising inflation, lax regulations, and poor economic conditions in Singapore led such institutions to pave the way for affluent people to carry on their criminal conduct.

According to another expert on foreign buyers, “the high-end market driven by the local Chinese buyers was already falling back due to the legislation of high stamp duty rates”. These laundering scandals are being viewed as the final action that heralded the final nail in the coffin of financial systems.

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Published Date

February 15, 2024

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