SINGAPORE: A Singapore court Wednesday convicted a jailed banker of additional offenses in a case linked to the international money-laundering scandal involving neighboring Malaysia’s state fund 1MDB.
Singaporean Yeo Jiawei, a former wealth manager with Swiss bank BSI, was sentenced to 54 months after admitting charges of money-laundering and cheating.
The jail term will run concurrently with a 30-month sentence for trying to tamper with witnesses involved in the probe into the scandal, which was handed down last year.
Allegations that huge sums were misappropriated from 1MDB through money-laundering triggered a corruption scandal that has embroiled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who founded the fund. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
Yeo is one of several bankers in Singapore jailed over the affair. Court documents show he worked closely with Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, who helped set up 1MDB. Low has also denied wrongdoing.
Passing sentence Wednesday, judge Ong Hian Sun said Yeo had taken “considerable effort” to conceal his criminal wrongdoing and had exploited his position for personal gain.
He added that the courts must take an “uncompromising stance” to protect the integrity of Singapore’s financial system.
The convictions related to Yeo’s time at BSI. While there, he was involved in a series of elaborate cross-border transactions involving shell companies and bank accounts belonging to his parents, court documents showed.
Yeo and a colleague made $466,000 in profit by siphoning off commission that was meant to go to BSI for facilitating the transactions, which were linked to 1MDB and its associated projects.
In mitigation, Yeo’s defense lawyer Derek Kang said his client would never work again in the finance industry and that he would give up profits made from the offences.