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Monetary Authority of Singapore: 1MDB investigations ongoing

March 21, 2019

Men walk past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the funds flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur March 1, 2015. — Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, March 20 — There are ongoing investigations into other financial institutions and individuals suspected of being involved in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-related offences, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

In its inaugural Enforcement Report released here today, MAS said the 1MDB review is its most comprehensive anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism to date.

In the report, 1MDB is one of the Featured Cases for money laundering-related control breaches by entities and individuals.

MAS said it worked closely with the Attorney General’s Chambers, Commercial Affairs Department as well as foreign regulatory and law enforcement agencies, to uncover a complex web of transactions involving numerous offshore shell companies and conspirators operating in multiple jurisdictions.

The central bank said it had taken decisive regulatory action by shutting down banks, imposing financial penalties against financial institutions which failed to meet the expected anti-money laundering standards and banned errant individuals from Singapore’s financial industry.

MAS has ordered BSI Bank Ltd and Falcon Private Bank Ltd, Singapore Branch, to shut down.

A total of S$30 million (RM90 million) in fines has also been imposed on eight financial institutions, namely BSI Bank Ltd, Falcon Private Bank Ltd, Singapore Branch, Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore Branch, Coutts & Co Ltd, Singapore Branch, UBS AG, Singapore Branch, DBS Bank Ltd, United Overseas Bank and Credit Suisse.

The central bank has also issued directives such as bank managements to investigate lapses, address control deficiencies and take appropriate disciplinary measures against bank staff involved.

It also issued Prohibition Orders (POs) against eight individuals ranging from three years to a lifetime.

The lifetime POs were issued to four persons, namely to Yeo Jiawei, a former BSI Singapore banker, Yak Yew Chee, a former managing director of Swiss bank BSI, Jens Fred Sturzenegger, a former branch manager of Falcon Private Bank Ltd, Singapore branch and Tim Leissner, a former Goldman Sachs director.

MAS’ Enforcement Report outlines its enforcement priorities and provides for greater accountability and transparency into the actions taken against breaches of its rules and regulations.

The report will be published every 18 months.

“As Singapore’s financial industry grows in size and complexity, so will the risks of financial misconduct,” said MAS’ Executive Director (Enforcement), Gillian Tan, in a statement accompanying the report.

She said enforcement played a critical role in financial supervision through the detection, investigation and punishment of serious misconduct.

“This is intended to deter illegal and unethical behaviour and protect consumers,” she added.

Tan said the Enforcement Report provided detailed insights into MAS’ enforcement work and priorities, and the public and financial sectors with a comprehensive picture of ongoing efforts to preserve the integrity of Singapore’s financial markets. — Bernama

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