(Adds details, background)
By Fathin Ungku
SINGAPORE Oct 10 Singapore police charged two
former BSI bankers on Monday amid an investigation tied to the
scandal-hit Malaysian state fund 1MDB that prompted the
Singapore central bank to order the local unit of the Swiss
private bank to shut down.
Yak Yew Chee, who was a senior vice president at BSI
Singapore and handled BSI's relationship with 1Malaysia
Development Bhd (1MDB), was charged with forgery and failure to
disclose suspicious transactions.
The Commercial Affairs Department of Singapore police filed
similar charges against Yvonne Seah, a former director at the
bank. Both have been released on bail and their passports have
Reuters was unable to reach either for comment.
One of Yak's clients was Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho,
known as Jho Low, whose assets have been seized by Singaporean
authorities as part of the investigation.
Founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who chaired
its advisory board, 1MDB is currently the subject of
money-laundering investigations in at least six countries,
including Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.
Najib has denied any wrongdoing and said Malaysia will
cooperate with the international investigations.
Court documents said Yak "fraudulently" signed letters
addressed to BNP Paribas Switzerland, Kendris Ltd and Rothschild
Trust AG Switzerland vetting Jho Low as a client at both BSI's
branches in Singapore and in Switzerland.
The documents said Yak had reasonable grounds to suspect
that $110 million transferred by Jho Low "directly represented
proceeds of an act that may constitute criminal conduct" and
failed to disclose this suspicion to authorities.
Earlier this year Singapore slapped several charges
including money laundering and forgery on Yeo Jiawei, a former
wealth manager of BSI. His trial will begin in late October.
In May, Singapore's central bank referred Yak and Seah,
among six members of BSI Bank's senior management and staff, to
the public prosecutor to evaluate if they had committed criminal
"Investigations into 1MDB-related fund flows through
Singapore are ongoing," the Attorney General's Chambers said in
a statement. "Other individuals, including the other BSI
Singapore employees named by MAS (Monetary Authority of
Singapore), are being questioned or investigated."
(Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Writing by Marius Zaharia; Editing
by Nick Macfie)