SINGAPORE - Ex-BSI banker Yeo Jiawei was found guilty on all four charges of witness tampering in the money-laundering case involving billions of dollars alleged to be misappropriated from Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
District Judge Ng Peng Hong on Wednesday (Dec 21) handed down the verdict against Yeo after a 12-day trial last month, observing that Yeo was "unreliable" and "not credible". Seven other charges against Yeo, which concern cheating, money laundering and forgery, will be dealt with next year.
The sentencing will be held on Thursday (Dec 22). The Straits Times understands that because of scale of the investigation and the nature of the offence, prosecution will likely ask for a sentence that is beyond the norm.
Yeo, 33, has repeatedly downplayed his close ties to elusive Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, who is also under investigation in Singapore and elsewhere over money-laundering claims linked to 1MDB.
The Singaporean had been employed by Swiss-based BSI as a wealth planner in Singapore between December 2009 and July 2014. He allegedly amassed S$26 million from various sources, including illicit schemes to defraud BSI while he was an employee.
Yeo is the third person to be convicted in Singapore's 1MDB probe. Yvonne Seah Yew Foong, a former BSI private banker, was sentenced last week to two weeks' jail and a fine of S$10,000 for helping to forge documents and failing to report suspicious transactions, allegedly related to Jho Low. Her supervisor, Yak Yew Chee, is serving an 18-week jail term after pleading guilty in November for similar offences.
Yeo is accused of facilitating illicit transactions involving 1MDB that led to the closure of BSI in Singapore. One charge alleges that after his release on police bail, he arranged a meeting on March 27 this year in Pergola Cafe at Swiss Club in Swiss Club Road with his associate, Mr Samuel Goh Sze-Wei, and Mr Kevin Swampillai, BSI's head of wealth management services.
Yeo allegedly told them to lie to the police by saying that funds transferred by Mr Goh to Bridgerock Investment and GTB Investment, beneficially owned by Yeo and Mr Swampillai respectively, were Mr Goh's investments.
After he left BSI, Yeo is alleged to have continued with illicit transactions connected to the case. Some of these were allegedly conducted through legal and corporate services provider Amicorp Group.
Yeo was concerned that Amicorp employees Jose Renato Carvalho Pinto and Mun Enci Aloysius, who had received instructions from him in relation to these transactions, would be interviewed by the CAD.
He allegedly told Mr Carvalho to dispose of his laptop, and to "not travel to Singapore to avoid being interviewed" by the CAD.
Yeo was also charged with "abetting" Mr Carvalho to tell Mr Aloysius to lie about not knowing of Yeo's dealings with Amicorp if he was questioned by the CAD.