Private banker Yak Yew Chee today retracted his application to the Court to release almost S$10 million frozen by the Singaporean authorities as part of their investigations into the 1MDB saga.
The banker was the relationship manager for 1MDB Global Investments Ltd, Aabar Investment PJS Limited, SRC International Sdn Bhd and Low Taek Jho (Jho Low, a Malaysian financier and reported to have a close relationship with Riza Aziz, the stepson of embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak).
Yak’s case before the High Court is the the first here arising from the Singapore Government’s probe into funds possibly linked to 1MDB. At the hearing Yak’s lawyer, Roderick Martin of Martin & Partners, requested to withdraw the earlier application, but asked for assurance that funds remitted from a bank in China, amounting to about $1.75 million, would not be seized if his client were to remit it back to Singapore for the payments.
The High Court said that as the funds are in a foreign bank it falls outside the jurisdiction of authorities here, and Mr Yak was free to transfer the money.
The Straits Times reported on 5 Jan that the “court documents filed by the DPP objecting to Mr Yak’s earlier application, released on Friday morning, said that the banker had failed to disclose material facts relating to his available finances:
– After Mr Yak was put on unpaid leave in May 2015 while investigations were being conducted by his employer, BSI Bank, and prior to 12 of his accounts being seized in September 2015, he transferred a “staggering S$5.7 million to his foreign bank accounts”.
– From October 2015 onwards, he had also arranged for his salary of some S$82,500 per month to be paid by way of cheques, and has been able to deposit his salary – more than S$330,000 – into accounts with Julius Baer and ICBC
– By Mr Yak’s own evidence, he earned more than S$27 million in salary and bonuses over the past 4 years, with S$8 million due to him. On the other hand, the CAD has only frozen bank accounts with funds amounting to approximately S$9.71 million, “leaving a staggering S$9 million unaccounted for”.”
The embattled Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, in the meantime has been named by Financial Times as the man being investigated by French authorities for receiving bribes over a $1.2bn arms deal when he was defence minister in 2002.
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