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IN the first legal case involving a massive probe into Malaysia's 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a criminal motion will be heard on Friday at the Singapore High Court involving a senior private banker with BSI Singapore.
The Business Times understands that Yak Yew Chee, who was the relationship manager (RM) of Malaysian tycoon Low Taek Jho or better known as Jho Low and a few entities linked to 1MDB, is applying for the release of some S$10 million in several of his bank accounts that were frozen in September last year as a result of Singapore authorities' probe into 1MDB.
It is understood that Mr Yak is seeking to lift the freeze on his bank accounts to pay for taxes, legal fees and basic expenses. Sources say the executive was also the RM for entities linked to the troubled state-backed firm namely 1MDB Global Investments Ltd, Aabar Investment PJS Limited and SRC International Sdn Bhd. SRC was once wholly owned by 1MDB, but is now under the Ministry of Finance.
According to the Supreme Court schedule for the week, a criminal motion will be heard on Friday morning. The respondent in the hearing is the public prosecutor. Mr Yak, who was understood was on long leave last year, will be represented by senior counsel Roderick Martin of Martin & Partner.
On Tuesday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Commercial Affairs Department jointly said that they have been "actively investigating" possible money laundering and other offences carried out in Singapore involving 1MDB.
In relation to the probe which began in the middle of last year, the CAD and the MAS said that they have seized a "large" number of bank accounts and were continuing to seek information from several financial institutions while interviewing various individuals. The agencies also said that they were cooperating closely with relevant authorities, including in Malaysia, Switzerland and the United States.