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Singapore prosecutors to call nine witnesses in ex-BSI banker's trial in 1MDB case
SINGAPORE prosecutors plan to call nine witnesses to establish their case in the trial of ex-BSI banker charged with four counts of perverting the course of justice amid a probe into the money flows of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
At the first day of trial at Singapore's state court on Monday, deputy public prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng described the former wealth planner at BSI, Yeo Jiawei, 33, as one of the "main Singapore-based suspects" in the "massive" money laundering case;Yeo was employed by BSI Singapore between December 2009 and July 2014.
Yeo, who has been held in custody since mid April, was seated at the dock and was clad in a purple prison uniform.
Yeo is alleged to have amassed some S$26 million from various sources including from "illicit schemes to defraud BSI Singapore while he was an employee", said Mr Tan.
Singapore's white-collar crime buster had first interviewed Yeo in October 2015, following which he was arrested as a suspect in March this year and released on police bail. The probe was described as the Commercial Affairs Department's (CAD) "most complex, sophisticated and largest" money laundering case by far.
"Unbeknownst to CAD, in the days following his release, the accused proceeded to take active steps to pervert the course of justice," said Mr Tan.
"In a display of complete and wanton disregard for the law and CAD's investigations, he met and contacted key witnesses in the hope of suppressing incriminatory evidence pertaining to his own illicit schemes and activities," Mr Tan added.
Yeo is alleged to have intentionally perverted the course of justice sometime around March 2016 when:
* he asked Samuel Goh Sze-Wei to falsely inform the police that the monies that Mr Goh had transferred to Bridgerock Investment Inc (a firm beneficially owned by Yeo) and GTB Investment Ltd were Samuel's investments;
* he asked Kevin Swampillai, BSI's former head of wealth management services and Yeo's supervisor then, to falsely inform the police that the monies that were transferred by Mr Goh to Bridgerock Investment Inc and GTB Investment Ltd were Mr Goh's investments;
* he told Pinto Jose Renato Carvalho to dispose of his laptop which likely contained evidence of Yeo's dealings with Amicorp Group and not to travel to Singapore to avoid being interviewed by the CAD;
* he abetted Mr Carvalho by instigating him to tell Mun Enci Aloysius to inform the CAD (if he was to be questioned) that he did not know of Yeo's dealings with Amicorp Group
Yeo's counsel is Philip Fong of Harry Elias.
The trial is scheduled to last until Nov 11 (except for Nov 4) with District Judge Ng Peng Hong presiding.
At the state court, the prosecution said it will apply for the remaining seven charges, which concern cheating, money laundering and forgery, to be stood down.