Why the 1MDB saga could be far from over for Singapore

Chan Chao Peh
The Edge
June 02, 2017

SINGAPORE (June 2): This past week, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) imposed penalties on two more banks and said it had completed an extensive, two-year-long probed into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

But charges could be brought against more individuals in the future, The Edge Singapore understands.

Following the latest announcement by MAS of financial penalties issued against UOB and Credit Suisse, the total of banks that have faced MAS action over their roles in the 1MDB saga have been brought to eight.

These eight banks have been fined S$29.1 million in total, while two of them – BSI Bank and Falcon Bank – have been ordered to close in Singapore.

MAS also reiterated that it would continue cooperating with the authorities in overseas jurisdictions, namely the US, Switzerland, and Luxembourg and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, three more individuals have been hit with Prohibition Orders, which essentially ban them from working in the industry: NRA Capital founder Kevin Scully, a former analyst at the firm; Jacky Lee Chee Waiy; and a former employee of Maybank Kim Eng, Kelvin Ang.

All in, seven individuals have been banned from the industry for terms ranging from three years to a lifetime. An eighth individual, former BSI wealth planner Yeo Jiawei, has already been convicted of witness tampering and is facing charges of money laundering.

Last May, MAS referred six former employees from BSI Bank to the public prosecutor.

Out of the six, three have been convicted. This includes Yak Yew Chee, a senior private banker who acted as relationship manager to Low Taek Jho, the alleged mastermind behind 1MDB-related transactions, as well as Yak’s assistant, Yvonne Seah Yew Foong. The third individual is Yeo.

A fourth individual, Kevin Swampillai, has admitted in court to having been in cahoots with yeo to cream off secret profits from entities they set up to ch annel funds from BSI accounts linked to 1MDB.

The remaining two former employees of BSI who were referred to prosecutors, namely former CEO Hanspeter Brunner and his deputy, Raj Sriram, were further up the hierarchy. The Edge Singapore understands that the case against these two men has not been closed yet.

As funds continue to pour into Singapore wealth management sector, another 1MDB case remains an ever-present risk.

  1. #1 by ezraanne ezra on Wednesday, 7 June 2017 - 5:40 pm

    To have a good laugh is medicine :-

    Najib oh Najib…..

    Najib asked the S’pore PM Lee Hsien Loong, “Mr Lee, how do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can give to me?”

    ” Well,” said Lee Hsien Loong , “the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people.”

    Najib frowned, and then asked, ” But how do I know the people around me are really intelligent?”

    Lee Hsien Loong  took a sip of tea. “Oh, that’s easy; you just ask them to answer an intelligent riddle.”
    Lee Hsien Loong  pushed a button on his intercom.

    “Please send DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam in here, would you?”
    DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam walked into the room and said, “Yes, Mr Lee?”

    Lee Hsien Loong smiled and said, “Answer me this please, Tharman, your mother and father have a child.
    It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?”

    Without pausing for a moment, Tharman answered, “That would be me.”

    “Yes! Very good,” said Lee Hsien Loong.

    Najib went back home to ask Zahid hamidi the same question. “answer this for me. Your mother and your father have a child.
    It’s not your brother and it’s not your sister. Who is it?”

    “I’m not sure,” said Zahid hamidi. “Let me get back to you on that one…”
    He went to his advisors and asked every one, but none could give him an answer.

    Finally, he ended up in the men’s room and recognized Penang CM Lim Guan Eng’s shoes in the next stall.

    Zahid hamidi didn’t want but asked anyway, “Lim, can you answer this for me?
    Your mother and father have a child and it’s not your brother or your sister. Who is it?n
    Lim yelled back, “That’s easy, it’s me!”

    Zahid hamidi smiled, and said, “Thanks!”
    Then, he went back to speak with Najib.

    “Sir, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle.
    It’s Lim Guan Eng!”

    Najib got up, stomped over to Zahid hamidi, and angrily yelled into his face.
    “No! You idiot! It’s Tharman Shanmugaratnam !”


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