Private banker at centre of Singapore 1MDB probe leaves firm

Private banker at centre of Singapore 1MDB probe leaves firm

SINGAPORE - The private banker whose accounts were frozen by Singapore authorities in relation to an investigation into Malaysian state fund 1MDB has left Swiss bank BSI.

According to Bloomberg, Mr Yak Yew Chee, who was a senior vice president at BSI, left the bank in February.

"He is no longer employed by BSI", a spokeswoman at the Switzerland-based bank told Bloomberg.

Mr Yak was the first name to emerge in the Singapore government's probe into 1MDB. He applied to the High Court to access his bank accounts in February, which had been frozen as part of the investigations.

The application was subsequently withdrawn.

According to Reuters, Mr Yak handled the lucrative 1MDB account after joining BSI in 2009. He is also believed to have been the private banker of Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, who has been accused of having personal transactions with 1MDB.

Court papers had revealed that he earned more than $27 million in salary and bonuses while employed at BSI from 2011 to 2015.

The troubled 1MDB has been the subject of various investigations by authorities in Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United Sates and Hong Kong.

In Singapore, the Commercial Affairs Department and the Monetary Authority of Singapore seized a "large number of bank accounts" linked to the alleged financial misappropriation at the fund in January this year.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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