2nd S'porean in case linked to 1MDB out on bail

A Singaporean charged in connection with the cross-border probe linked to the troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is out on bail of $100,000.

Kelvin Ang Wee Keng - the second Singaporean charged in connection with the investigation - had been in remand since being charged on April 20.

He was granted early release yesterday after the prosecution determined that he need no longer be in custody to assist with investigations. Last Wednesday, Ang, 34, had been ordered to be remanded until May 11 but his case was heard yesterday afternoon, two days ahead of schedule.

He has been charged with corruptly giving a gratification of $3,000 between 2013 and 2014 to research analyst Lee Chee Waiy to expedite preparation of a favourable valuation report to be issued by his firm.

The prosecution "does not seek to remand accused persons for longer than is necessary", the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said in a statement yesterday. But the AGC stressed that investigations were not yet completed and Ang's assistance was still required.

Ang's lawyer Hamidul Haq of Rajah and Tann noted said: "A family member bailed him out (yesterday)."

The prosecution noted yesterday that Ang has been charged under section 6(b) Prevention of Corruption Act, a non-bailable offence, but that it would not object to bail. It asked for bail of $100,000, a figure the court granted. The case has been adjourned and a pre-trial conference is scheduled on June 30.

The first Singaporean charged in the investigation was Yeo Jiawei, a former wealth manager at Swiss private bank BSI. Last Thursday, Yeo was charged with cheating the bank by dishonest concealment, transferring funds that represented his benefits from criminal conduct and obstructing justice. Prosecutors already accuse Yeo of trying to obstruct justice, cheating his former employer and money laundering in earlier charges brought on April 16.

The investigation appears to be homing in on activities related to 1MDB's Cayman investments. In one charge, Yeo was accused of cheating BSI Singapore in 2012 by hiding that he would receive around US$1.6 million (S$2 million) a year - a portion of the annual management fee paid by 1MDB's wholly-owned Brazen Sky to Bridge Partners Investment Management (Cayman). The prosecution said investigations have confirmed that Ang has had "extensive dealings over more than two years with Yeo, and some others implicated in improper dealings".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2016, with the headline '2nd S'porean in case linked to 1MDB out on bail'. Print Edition | Subscribe