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Second Singapore banker jailed in Malaysian 1MDB scandal

Dec 16. 2016
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By Agence France-Presse

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean private banker was sentenced to two weeks jail on Friday for fraud relating to Malaysia's 1MDB financial scandal, becoming the second person convicted in the international multi-billion dollar affair.

Allegations that huge sums were misappropriated from the Malaysian state fund through money laundering have triggered a massive corruption scandal embroiling Prime Minister Najib Razak.

    Prosecutors say Yvonne Seah, a former director at the Singapore branch of Swiss bank BSI, helped forge documents and failed to report suspicious money transfers from accounts allegedly linked to Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, a close family friend of Najib. 

    Seah, 45, was sentenced to a fortnight in jail after pleading guilty to three charges of forgery and failure to report suspicious transactions related to the investment fund.

    She was also fined Sg$10,000 ($7,000) by a Singapore district court.

    Seah had faced a maximum penalty of four years jail and a Sg$20,000 fine. 

    Seah's superior Yak Yew Chee, a former managing director of BSI, was last month sentenced to 18 weeks jail and fined Sg$24,000 for similar offences.

    Prosecutors said the actions of Seah and her colleagues had "brought about a certain degree of disrepute to (Singapore's) financial system". 

    "Such conduct must be stamped out through the imposition of a deterrent sentence," they said.

    Singapore, a regional financial hub, is known for its transparency and strong stance against corruption. 

    Since news of the scandal broke, several countries have launched criminal investigations, including the United States and Switzerland. 

    Singapore is the first country to successfully convict figures relating to the saga. 


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