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THE Singaporean investigation into the activities of investment banker Yeo Jiawei reveals a trail of falsehoods Low Taek Jho thread between banks as he siphoned more than RM4 billion from 1Malaysia Development Bhd into his Good Star company, the The Edge Singapore reported yesterday.

Yeo was sentenced to four-and-a-half years’ jail by a Singapore court on Wednesday  for money laundering and cheating, the longest prison sentence meted out in a case related to 1MDB. The former BSI Singapore wealth manager had pocketed close to US$3.5 million (RM14.9 million) through illegal dealings linked to Low.

The Edge Singapore reported that Low, popularly known as Jho Low, had initially provided investment bank Coutts with an investment management agreement that Good Star had been appointed by 1MDB to manage its investments.

Low later furnished another document to Coutts, stating that the funds were loaned by 1MDB to Good Star.

The Singaporean Attorney-General’s Chambers said Low knew where the money to Good Star was coming from.

“The agreements provided to Coutts are inconsistent with each other, and both are inconsistent with the explanation for the transaction given by Tang Keng Chee given to Deutche Bank Malaysia on Sept 30, 2009,” the A-G said.

1MDB entered into a joint venture (JV) with PetroSaudi International Limited in September 2009.

Under the agreement, 1MDB was to inject US$1 billion into the JV, 1MDB PetroSaudi Limited,  in return for one billion shares, or

a 40% stake, in the joint venture.

According to the statement of facts into Yeo’s case, the transfer of US$1 billion by 1MDB to the JV was to be made via a foreign exchange transaction.

On September 30, 2009, Deutsche Bank Malaysia was instructed in a letter signed by then executive director of 1MDB  Tang Keng Chee to transfer only US$300 million to the JV’s  JPMorgan (Suisse) SA bank account.

The other US$700 million was to be transferred to a bank account belonging to Good Star Limited, this being RBS Coutts Bank AG (Zurich) bank account No. 11116073.

In a telephone conversation with Deutsche Bank the same day, Tang confirmed that the US$700 million was to be a payment to PetroSaudi for an advance owed by 1MDB PetroSaudi.

On October 2, 2009, Sharol Halmi, the then CEO of 1MDB, told Deutsche Bank Malaysia that “Good Star is owned 100% by PetroSaudi International Limited”.

However, investigations showed that Jho Low was the beneficiary of the Good Star account until its closure in September 2013.

Between May and October 2011, Good Star received a further US$330 million from 1MDB, spread over four transfers.

One of the transfers was effected by Deutsche Bank Malaysia under a Murabaha financing agreement dated June 14, 2010, between 1MDB and the 1MDB-PetroSaudi joint venture.

Investigations  reveal that Jho Low provided a sales and purchase agreement to Coutts claiming that the US$330 million were proceeds from the sale of certain assets by Good Star to 1MDB.

“The said agreement provided to Coutts is again inconsistent with the explanation given to Deutsche Bank Malaysia,” says the prosecutor.

In total, US$1.03 billion that 1MDB purported to invest in the joint venture had actually been diverted to the Good Star Account, say prosecutors.  – July 15, 2017.

 

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