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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Singapore says Jho Low Used Money traceable to the 1MDB State Fund of Malaysia for his own benefit, ABout US$ 1 Billion diverted into accounts beneficially owned by him.

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1MDB fund a ‘victim’ of Jho Low, say prosecutors

SINGAPORE: in Singapore said Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho is the central figure in probes linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), and that he used money traceable to the state fund for his own benefit.

Low received “huge” sums of money, the prosecutors said in court filings made public yesterday. About US$1bil that 1MDB was purported to invest in a joint venture with PetroSaudi International Ltd was diverted to a bank account beneficially owned by Low, according to the filings.
“The main victim in this case is 1MDB,” prosecutor Nathaniel Khng said in a Singapore state court. “Jho Low has gone missing from the public eye.”
Singapore’s investigations into 1MDB-related activities has so far seen five people convicted, four of whom have been sentenced to jail. The city-state is the only country so far to have criminally charged bankers.
The probes are part of a worldwide effort to track how much of the US$6bil that 1MDB raised for development projects was used to pay for luxury real estate, art, lavish parties and more.
The US and Switzerland are among the countries also investigating the roles played by banks and individuals. Low has been characterised by US investigators as the controller of a plan to drain billions from the Malaysian fund.
A request for comment sent via the website of Low’s Jynwel Capital Ltd wasn’t immediately answered, nor was an e-mail sent to 1MDB, which has consistently denied any wrongdoing. Low has previously described his role with the fund as informal consulting that didn’t break any laws.
Low issued a statement in June in response to a US Department of Justice (DoJ) lawsuit that sought to recover US$540mil in assets that it said were purchased with funds misappropriated from 1MDB.
“We look forward to the court being presented with the actual facts which demonstrate that the DoJ’s case is completely without foundation,” he said at the time through a representative.
Yesterday’s court hearing saw Yeo Jiawei, a former banker serving the longest jail term in Singapore’s 1MDB investigations, admit to charges including money laundering. Yeo played a role in the transactions involving the fund and made secret profits on the side, prosecutors said.
Yeo, who also pleaded guilty to cheating his former employer, agreed to help with Singapore’s money-laundering probes, which prosecutors described as the largest in the country’s history. He was sentenced to 54 months in jail by the state court yesterday.
The former BSI SA wealth planner was handed a 30-month term in December on charges of trying to tamper with witnesses in the probe.
Principal District Judge Ong Hian Sun said yesterday that the courts must take an “uncompromising stance” to safeguard the integrity of Singapore’s financial system.
Yeo had referred to Low as “boss” and spent at least one night at his house, according to earlier court proceedings. — Bloomberg

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/07/13/1mdb-fund-a-victim-of-jho-low-say-prosecutors/#JfOesm8W6cF7vyVT.99

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