A former banker with the Singapore arm of Switzerland’s BSI Bank, who was charged with money laundering after the island state’s investigation into 1MDB, has been slapped with two new charges.
Yeo Jiawei now faces one count of cheating involving US$1.6 million and another for attempting to ‘pervert the course of justice’, in addition to the initial charge of receiving S$200,000 in his Bank of China account which was a ‘benefit of criminal conduct’, Channel NewsAsia reported.
The 33-year-old former banker was last week charged with an offence under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act.
Although his initial charge made no mention of 1MDB or any related entities or individuals, it stemmed from investigations into the fund’s money flows, Bloomberg had reported last week.
Singapore’s second solicitor-general Kwek Mean Luck, who led the prosecution, said the current investigation is “without a doubt the most complex cross-border investigation to date”.
In pressing the court to order Yeo's continued remand without access to his lawyer, Kwek said Yeo had played a significant role in moving large amounts of money, and that investigations against him are “very much alive”.
Yeo's lawyer, Philip Fong, however, objected to this, saying the commercial affairs department has been given more than ample time to investigate.
Fong told the court the prosecution had failed to explain why giving Yeo access to his lawyer would impede investigations.
In February, another former BSI banker Yak Yew Chee was also in the news as he applied to the courts to unfreeze his assets.
Based on court filings in that case, it was revealed that Singapore regulators were questioning international banks which had ties with 1MDB, BSI Bank, Aabar Investment PJS, and billionaire Low Taek Jho, often referred to as Jho Low.