Singapore acts decisively on 1MDB scandal

Singapore acts decisively on 1MDB scandal

Singapore is the only country probing alleged money laundering related to 1MDB to have secured convictions against some of the perpetrators.

KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore’s financial regulators have acted swiftly and convincingly in tackling money laundering related to 1MDB.

Of the five countries now probing the state fund’s finances, according to a report in the Straits Times (ST), Singapore is the only one so far to have secured convictions.

In answer to the scandal, apart from the probe, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) this year set up its own anti-money laundering department to monitor risks and supervise financial institutions. It also introduced more stringent anti-money laundering requirements for corporate services providers, lawyers and public accountants.

The report quoted observers as saying Singapore’s regulators had responded swiftly against individuals and banks that had acted as conduits for illegal fund flows from 1MDB.

MAS shut down two private banks – BSI and Falcon – and fined DBS Group, UBS and Standard Chartered Bank for lapses in money laundering controls.

Two former BSI bankers have pleaded guilty to forgery and failing to report suspicious transactions, and have been sentenced to prison and fined. One other former BSI banker, Yeo Jiawei, who claimed trial on charges of tampering with witnesses, was found guilty yesterday.

The transactions at 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), considered one of the world’s biggest financial scandals, had marred Singapore’s prized reputation as a trusted financial centre, said the report.

It also highlighted the lapses by some banks in failing to adhere to anti-money laundering controls.

The ST report said as much as US$4 billion (RM18 billion) was alleged to have been looted from 1MDB.

It noted that United States prosecutors, who launched a civil case to seize assets linked to the probe, had named Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, as the mastermind behind the alleged money laundering scheme.

Singapore acts decisively on 1MDB scandal
December 22, 2016 – FMT


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