Posted inRegulation

Ex-Falcon Bank manager jailed in Singapore 1MDB probe

The first westerner to be charged in connection with the 1MDB scandal has been sentenced to 28 weeks in jail and fined S$128,000 (£73,352, $89,174, €84,235) by a Singapore court.

Jens Sturzenegger, a Swiss national and the former manager of Falcon Private Bank in Singapore, pleaded guilty to six of the 16 charges levied against him, which included failing to comply with the city state’s anti-money laundering rules, reports Singapore newspaper The Straits Times.

The prosecution had been seeking a jail term of 30-32 weeks and a fine of S$150,000.

Sturzenegger’s lawyer, Tan Hee Joek, said in court that his client was remorseful and did not gain financially from the offences, reports Bloomberg.

At sentencing, judge Ow Yong Tuck Leong said that Sturzenegger had engaged in “persistent, deceitful conduct in lying” to the authorities.

Sturzenegger, the fifth person and first non-Singapore national to be convicted for their ties to 1MBD, was accused of lying to authorities about several Falcon bank accounts linked to Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho.

Low, better known as Jho Low, has been deemed a person of interest by international investigators looking into the Malaysian development fund and has also been connected to the three BSI Bank convictions.

BSI Bank

Former BSI banker Yeo Jaiwei has been found guilty of four charges of witness tampering by a Singapore court as part of the investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) money laundering scandal. On 22 December, Yeo was sentenced to 30 months in jail, which his lawyer advised he would challenge.

On 16 December, former BSI director Yvonne Seah was sentenced to two weeks in prison and fined S$10,000 for her role in facilitating and failing to report suspicious transactions related to Jho Low.

Seah’s former colleague and supervisor, Yak Yew Chee, was jailed for 18 weeks and fined S$24,000 in November for similar charges.

Neither Seah nor Yak intend to challenge their convictions. 

Banks shut down

Falcon Bank in Singapore was shut down by the Singapore regulator in October 2016 over its connections to 1MDB.

It was the second bank to be forcibly shut down, after BSI Singapore in May.

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