Singapore 1MDB probe: Private banker withdraws request to release frozen funds

Singapore 1MDB probe: Private banker withdraws request to release frozen funds

SINGAPORE - Private banker Yak Yew Chee has applied to withdraw his request to release some of the money in his bank accounts, which had been frozen by authorities in relation to investigations into Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), according to online reports.

He had earlier applied for a portion of the funds, which reportedly amount to $10 million, to be released to pay taxes and legal fees, as well as other expenses.

Channel NewsAsia reported that Mr Yak has been allowed to remit $1.7 million from his foreign accounts without the money being seized.

Mr Yak did not appear at the hearing on Friday (Feb 5), and was represented by lawyer Roderick Martin of Martin & Partners, The Straits Times reported.

He is believed to be the private banker of flamboyant Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, who has been accused of having personal transactions with 1MDB.

Mr Yak's case is the first that has arisen from the Singapore Government's probe into 1MDB, which is also being investigated by authorities in Switzerland and the United States.

On Monday (Feb 1), the Commerical Affairs Department (CAD)and the Monetary Authority of Singapore seized a "large number" of bank accounts over money laundering and other offences linked to alleged financial misappropriation at 1MDB.

In a statement on Friday, CAD said that most of the bank accounts were seized in the second half of 2015. It also clarified that the investigations relate only to people or entities who have potentially committed offences in Singapore.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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