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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Jho Low's ex-banker convicted by Singapore court

Former BSI Singapore banker Yeo Jiawei has been convicted over witness-tampering charges in relation to the island-state's investigations on 1MDB's money trail.

District Judge Ng Peng Hong said Yeo was an "unreliable and not a credible witness" before finding him guilty. Yeo faces a maximum seven-year jail sentence. Sentencing will take place tomorrow.

Over the course of the trial, prosecution witnesses testified that Malaysian tycoon Jho Low was Yeo's client and that the two enjoyed very close ties.

The court was also told that Low paid Yeo about S$500,000 a year for his services, which included managing several accounts at BSI Singapore, some of which with links to 1MDB. However, Yeo claimed that he had never received a cent from Low.

Singaporean courts will try Yeo for several other offences next year, all related to the 1MDB investigations, including cheating, money laundering and forgery.

Thus far, Yeo is the third BSI banker to be convicted over 1MDB-related matters.

Yak Yew Chee is presently serving an 18-week jail term over forgery charges and failure to disclose suspicious transactions. Last Friday, Yak's subordinate Yvonne Seah pleaded guilty to similar charges and was handed a two-week jail sentence.

BSI Singapore was ordered to cease operations in May.

Previously, Singaporean authorities had also penalised UBS Group AG, Standard Chartered Plc and Falcon Private Bank Ltd over alleged lapses linked to 1MDB.

At the centre of the 1MDB storm in Singapore is Low, whose whereabouts remain unknown. He was identified by Singaporean authorities as a key person of interest in their investigations.

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