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MAS bans ex-BSI banker from financial services over US$5m 'secret profits' tied to 1MDB

MAS - STfile.jpg
MAS said Mr Swampillai made misrepresentations to 1MDB's auditors to try to "improperly influence" the outcome of an audit.

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has banned Kevin Michael Swampillai, the former head of the wealth management services department of BSI Bank Singapore, permanently from any regulated activity tied to securities dealing and financial advisory.

In a statement early Friday morning, MAS said from 2012 to 2013, Mr Swampillai and his then-subordinate, Yeo Jiawei, had assisted 1MDB to restructure several of its joint venture interests.

In that time, Mr Swampillai and Mr Yeo channelled about US$5 million as a portion of the fund management fees, to an entity beneficially owned by Mr Swampillai. This was done without the bank's knowledge and authorisation.

MAS said Mr Swampillai also deliberately made misrepresentations to 1MDB's auditors, KPMG Malaysia, to try to "improperly influence" the outcome of an audit carried out by them on 1MDB's fiduciary fund investments.

Specifically, he misrepresented that the assets held by PetroSaudi Oil Services Limited (PSOSL), one of 1MDB's investments, were liquid in nature and mostly cash, even though he knew that in fact, PSOSL's assets comprised two drill ships.

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Under the lifetime prohibition orders (PO), Mr Swampillai can no longer perform any regulated activity under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA), or provide any financial advisory service under the Financial Advisers Act (FAA).

He is also permanently prohibited from taking part in the management, acting as a director, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital market and financial advisory services firm under the SFA and FAA.

These POs were issued at the conclusion of an investigation conducted by the MAS, and took effect on Thursday.

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