A former banker has been jailed for attempting to hinder Singapore’s investigations into the alleged laundering of billions of dollars linked to Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB, according to a report in the Financial Times.
Yeo Jiawei, a former wealth manager at BSI bank, has been convicted in a Singapore court of three charges of obstructing justice.
Jiawei allegedly interfered with witnesses in an attempt to frustrate a broader police investigation involving Jho Low, a Malaysian businessman alleged to have played a central role in the 1MDB affair, reported on by Finance Magnates earlier this month – as well as to conceal Yeo’s own illicit wealth.
Third BSI Banker Convicted
Yeo, who was employed by BSI from December 2009 to July 2014 when he left to work for Low, is the third former BSI banker to be convicted in a series of 1MDB-related trials in Singapore for playing a central role in activities connected with a multinational money-laundering scheme.
Low, who did not hold a formal position at 1MDB, is alleged to have diverted state funds to enjoy a lavish lifestyle and pay for possessions including a $35 million private jet, art and real estate. Low has denied any wrongdoing.
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According to Singapore prosecutors, Yeo provided a link between Low, Mohamed Badawy al-Husseiny, an Abu Dhabi official, both of whom have been declared as “key persons of interest” to Singapore police and Swiss bank UBS.
US prosecutors have alleged that funds siphoned off from 1MDB were transferred into accounts owned by Husseiny, who was head of Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments at the time.
Authorities in Singapore have fined UBS for breaches of anti-money laundering regulations.
In November, Yak Yew Chee, a managing director at BSI in Singapore, was also jailed for 18 weeks and fined US$16,600 after being convicted of four charges relating to forgery and failure to disclose suspicious transactions.
Yvonne Seah Yew Foong, another former BSI private banker, was sentenced to two weeks in prison for aiding in forging documents and was fined US$7,000 for failing to report suspicious transactions.
Yeo, meanwhile, faces a separate trial on money laundering charges next year. The jailing of the banker is part of a broader crackdown on 1MDB-related fund flows in Singapore.