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Banker in 1MDB-linked Singapore case withdraws request to unfreeze accounts

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A banker at Swiss wealth manager BSI's Singapore unit withdrew a court application to release his bank accounts that were frozen as part of the city-state's probe against possible money laundering linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

[SINGAPORE] A banker at Swiss wealth manager BSI's Singapore unit withdrew a court application to release his bank accounts that were frozen as part of the city-state's probe against possible money laundering linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Yak Yew Chee, whom sources said is responsible for dealings between BSI in Singapore and entities linked to Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB, withdrew the request in Singapore's High Court on Friday, his lawyer Roderick Martin told the court.

The withdrawal came after Yak's lawyer asked the court if his client could remit about S$1.76 million to Singapore from his overseas accounts to pay his tax and legal fees without having such funds seized.

Singapore's deputy chief prosecutor confirmed that Yak could transfer money into the country. The judge then granted Yak's request to withdraw the application.

Yak did not appear at the court hearing.

Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department has seized S$9.7 million from Yak's bank accounts in Singapore, court documents show.

Earlier this week, the city-state said it had seized a large number of bank accounts in recent months as part of investigations into possible money-laundering and other offences linked to 1MDB.

1MDB, whose advisory board is chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, is being investigated by authorities in Malaysia, Switzerland and the United States following accusations of financial mismanagement and graft. 1MDB has denied these allegations.

REUTERS