Yeo jailed 30 months after being convicted on four charges

  • Banking Premium
  • Thursday, 22 Dec 2016

SINGAPORE: Former banker Yeo Jiawei was sentenced to 30 months’ jail on Thursday, a day after he was convicted on all four charges of witness tampering in the money laundering case involving billions of dollars allegedly misappropriated from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) state fund.

For each of the four charges of tampering with witnesses, Yeo could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.

In his oral judgment delivered on Wednesday following a 12-day trial last month, the judge described the former BSI Bank executive as “unreliable” and “not credible” as a witness.

Judge Ng on Wednesday said: “The accused (Yeo) denied attempting to intentionally pervert the course of justice. He claimed the person who concocted the plan to lie to the CAD (Commercial Affairs Department) is Kevin Swampillai (his former supervisor at BSI).

“Having evaluated conflicting versions of evidence... I found the accused to be unreliable and not a credible witness. I disbelieved the evidence of the accused. He failed to raise reasonable doubts in the prosecution’s case. The prosecution has proven the case beyond reasonable doubt against the accused in respect to all charges.”

The court found that after Yeo’s release on police bail, he had arranged a meeting on March 27 at the Swiss Club with his associate, Samuel Goh Sze-Wei, and Swampillai, then BSI’s head of wealth management services. Yeo told them to lie to the police that the funds Goh had transferred to companies owned by Yeo and Swampillai were his investments.

Yeo had also told Swampillai to “stick to the story” discussed earlier and to “play poker” with the CAD.

After he left BSI, Yeo 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 told Carvalho to dispose of his laptop, and to “not travel to Singapore to avoid being interviewed” by the CAD. Yeo also abetted Carvalho to tell Aloysius to lie about not knowing of Yeo’s dealings with Amicorp if he was questioned by the CAD.

Yeo is the third person to be convicted in Singapore’s 1MDB investigation. Seven other charges involving cheating, money laundering and forgery next year, will be dealt with next year. - Singapore Straits Times/ANN

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