Hornbill Unleashed

July 13, 2017

1MDB a ‘victim’ of Jho Low, say Singapore prosecutors

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

jho-low-1mdb

Low received “huge” sums of money, the prosecutors said in court filings made public today.

About US$1 billion (RM4.3 billion) that 1MDB was purported to invest in a joint venture with PetroSaudi International Ltd was diverted to a bank account beneficially owned by Low, according to the filings.

“The main victim in this case is 1MDB,” prosecutor Nathaniel Khng said in a Singapore state court. “Jho Low has gone missing from the public eye.”

Singapore’s investigations into 1MDB-related activities have so far seen five people convicted, four of whom were jailed.

The city-state is the only country so far to have criminally charged bankers.

The probes are part of a worldwide effort to track how much of the US$6 billion (RM25.8 billion) that 1MDB raised for development projects was used to pay for luxury real estate, art, lavish parties and more.

The US and Switzerland are among the countries also investigating the roles played by banks and individuals.

Low has been characterised by US investigators as the controller of a plan to drain billions from the Malaysian fund.

A request for comment sent via the website of Low’s Jynwel Capital Ltd wasn’t immediately answered, nor was an email sent to 1MDB, which has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Low has previously described his role with the fund as informal consulting that didn’t break any laws.

Low issued a statement in June in response to a US Department of Justice lawsuit that sought to recover US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) in assets that it said were purchased with funds misappropriated from 1MDB.

“We look forward to the court being presented with the actual facts which demonstrate that the DOJ’s case is completely without foundation,” he said at the time through a representative.

A probe by a Malaysian parliamentary committee identified irregularities in 1MDB’s joint venture agreement with PetroSaudi in 2009, when US$700 million (RM3 billion) was transferred to an account at RBS Coutts Bank Ltd held by a company that had nothing to do with the project.

Secret profits

Today’s court hearing saw Yeo Jiawei, a former banker, serving the longest jail term in Singapore’s 1MDB investigations, admit to charges including money laundering.

Yeo played a role in the transactions involving the fund and made secret profits on the side, prosecutors said.

Yeo, who also pleaded guilty to cheating his former employer, agreed to help with Singapore’s money-laundering probes, which prosecutors described as the largest in the country’s history.

He was sentenced to 54 months in jail by the state court today.

The former BSI SA wealth planner was handed a 30-month term in December on charges of trying to tamper with witnesses in the probe.

Principal district judge Ong Hian Sun said today that the courts must take an “uncompromising stance” to safeguard the integrity of Singapore’s financial system.

Yeo had referred to Low as “boss” and spent at least one night at his house, according to earlier court proceedings.

Yeo previously said it was a misunderstanding that he worked for Low.

His admission of guilt came after the Monetary Authority of Singapore wrapped up a two-year probe into flows related to the Malaysian investment fund.

Singapore has imposed a total of S$29.1 million (RM90.46 million) in penalties on eight banks as part of its 1MDB probes.

Credit Suisse Group AG and United Overseas Bank Ltd were among the firms that paid penalties, while BSI and Falcon Private Bank Ltd were also ordered to shut their local operations.

Yeo accumulated a net worth of S$23.9 million (RM74 million) through “secret profits” in the 15 months after he left BSI in June 2014, prosecutors said in an earlier hearing. Yeo had said the money was earned legitimately.

Yeo’s lawyer Derek Kang said today his client came from a humble background and had “no chance” of working again in the finance industry.

Yeo will give up the profits he made from the offences, Kang said.


Source : FMT Online by  Bloomberg


 

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2 Comments »

  1. Super world class con-man is happily bonking some hookers far away.

    Comment by Salim — July 13, 2017 @ 12:11 PM | Reply

  2. Is it not surprising that our opposition is really wonderful, they can control US, Spore… all the more reason they should be in putrajaya. What utter rubbish. Spore doesnt even like to mention Msia’s opposition by name in public, and is close to Umno more than anyone – who boasted of visits by LKY just a few years back? The reason why Spore plays along with Umno’s game, is probably because they can see their neighbour is of little threat to their tiny island’s economy and world prestige. To Spore, Harapan is but inspiration to their own opposition, something they try their best to discourage. Low is just sore he couldnt buy his way through the Fine Country like he does elsewhere.

    Comment by TPK — July 13, 2017 @ 11:16 AM | Reply


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