Two ex-BSI bankers in Singapore charged in 1MDB probe

Added 10th October 2016

Two former bankers for Switzerland's BSI Bank have been charged by the Singapore police as part of their investigation into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Two ex-BSI bankers in Singapore charged in 1MDB probe

According to Reuters, Yak Yew Chee, a senior vice president at BSI Singapore who handled the bank’s relationship with 1MDB, was charged with forgery and failure to disclose suspicious transactions.

Similar charges were filed by the Commercial Affairs Department of Singapore against Yvonne Seah, a former director at the bank.

Both Yak and Seah, along with six former and current colleagues, were referred by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (Mas) for investigation in May when the regulator ordered BSI Bank in Singapore be shut down.

Both have been released on bail and had their passports detained.


Court documents show that Yak “fraudulently” signed letters addressed to BNP Paribas Switzerland, Kendris, and Rothschild Trust AG Switzerland.

The letters vetted a client called Low Taek Jho, a Malaysian financier who was a customer of both BSI’s branches in Singapore and Switzerland.

The investigation found that Yak had reasonable grounds to suspect that S$110m (£64.4m, $80.1m, €71.5m) transferred by Low “directly represented proceeds of an act that may constitute criminal conduct” but failed to disclose this suspicion to the authorities.

Low subsequently had his assets seized by Singaporean authorities as part of the 1MDB investigation.

Attempts by Reuters to contact Yak and Seah were unanswered.


Founded by Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, 1MDB is at the centre of a money-laundering investigation that has reached the shores of the US, Switzerland, and Singapore.

Razak, who chaired the fund’s advisory board, has denied any wrongdoing and said that Malaysia will cooperate with the international investigations.   

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Kirsten Hastings

Senior Reporter

Kirsten is a senior reporter for International Adviser, covering global news stories about the financial services industry. She joined Last Word Media in October 2015 after two years working as a reporter covering the staffing and recruitment industry. Kirsten has a Masters in Financial Journalism from the University of Stirling. 


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