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Ex-BSI banker found guilty in Singapore of charges linked to 1MDB probe
December 21, 2016 / 9:14 AM / a year ago

Ex-BSI banker found guilty in Singapore of charges linked to 1MDB probe

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A Singapore court found a former wealth manager of Swiss bank BSI guilty of four charges on Wednesday in a case linked to a money-laundering investigation involving Malaysian fund 1MDB, the third BSI banker convicted in the city state this year.

Motorcyclists pass a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/File Photo

District judge Ng Peng Hong found ex-BSI banker Yeo Jiawei guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice by urging witnesses to lie to police and destroying evidence during an investigation into illicit money transfers linked to Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

    Yeo is facing seven separate charges, including money laundering, cheating and forgery, which the prosecution said he would be tried for next year. Prosecutors told reporters after the hearing that he “could face more charges”.

Yeo, 33, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing during the month-long trial.

He appeared in court with his hands and feet in chains and appeared calm when the verdict was read out. He has been held in remand since April.

The prosecutors had charged that Yeo had amassed S$23.9 million ($16.55 million) by taking secret profits from 1MDB-linked transactions during his work for the Singapore unit of BSI.

Singapore authorities have called the 1MDB-linked investigation the most complex, sophisticated and largest money laundering case they have handled. It involves at least six different jurisdictions. [nL4N1D23HG]

    Singapore’s central bank in May ordered the closure of the operations of the Singapore unit of the Swiss private bank and asked the Attorney General’s Chambers to investigate six members of its senior management and staff.

Two of them, Yvonne Seah and Yak Yew Chee have already been convicted and sentenced on charges stemming from the money-laundering investigation linked to 1MDB.

The Malaysian fund, founded by Prime Minister Najib Razak, who previously chaired its advisory board, is 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.

($1 = 1.4437 Singapore dollars)

Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Robert Birsel

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