S'pore 1MDB probe: Banker Yak Yew Chee earned $27m in 5 years

SINGAPORE - Court papers have revealed that private banker Yak Yew Chee claimed he earned more than $27 million in salary and bonuses from Swiss bank BSI from 2011 to 2015.

His base annual pay rose from $500,000 in 2011, to $600,000 the following year, and then shot up to $1 million from 2013 onward, reported The Straits Times and Shin Min Daily News.

Mr Yak, who was employed by BSI in 2009, was placed on unpaid leave between May and September last year when the bank began to probe any wrongdoings relating to client accounts.

Mr Yak signed a declaration in April 2015, stating that he did not give or receive any benefits from managing the accounts of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments PJSC and Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho.

The banker appeared to be a star employee for his business successes and contributions till he fell out of favour with the bank, reported The Straits Times.

He was commended for his achievements by the chief executive of the BSI Group, Dr Alfredo Gysi, in a letter dated Dec 12, 2011, and was then given bonuses which saw huge jumps in subsequent years.

He took home bonuses of $649,000 in 2011, and more than $2.5 million the next year. In 2013, his bonus snowballed to nearly $9.6 million and in 2014, it amounted to $10.5 million.

In another set of court papers, the bank's lawyer Drew & Napier reported that it had paid a total of $19.1 million to the banker from 2011 to 2015.

As part of its investigation, BSI had asked Mr Yak repeatedly to go to its office in Suntec City, from August to September last year, but Mr Yak refused to do so until Oct 1, reported The Straits Times.

In a series of 23 e-mails and letters exchanged between Mr Yak and BSI, reproduced in the court papers, Mr Yak stated he did not commit anything wrong.

Instead, he accused the bank of trying to terminate him and deny him of some $8.8 million in unpaid bonus.

Sarawak Report: Yak managed jewellery payments

A Feb 2 article (below) by Sarawak Report claimed that Mr Yak managed Jho Low's jewellery payments for Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak

Sarawak Report said it has accessed documents and emails detailing how Low provided "payments for millions of dollars worth of diamonds" purchased by Rosmah. In July last year, it 'exposed' how Low paid for Rosmah's shopping sprees.







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chenj@sph.com.sg