Singapore, Malaysia agree to continue cooperating with 1MDB task force

Singapore, Malaysia agree to continue cooperating with 1MDB task force

FILE PHOTO: Men walk past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the fund's flags
FILE PHOTO: Men walk past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the fund's flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/File Photo

SINGAPORE: Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to continue cooperating with a 1MDB task force and keep up the exchange of information, following a "productive" meeting between both sides on Thursday (Jun 7). 

In a joint statement on Friday, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC), Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said the meeting on Thursday was held at the invitation of the Singapore authorities and that there was a "fruitful exchange of information".

This followed an earlier meeting with the task force last week in Kuala Lumpur, the statement added.

"Singapore has been providing Malaysia information on 1MDB-related fund flows, since March 2015, and this was acknowledged by Malaysia. Both sides agreed to continue this cooperation," said the authorities. 

The authorities also clarified on the INTERPOL Red Notices for Low Taek Jho, widely known as Jho Low, and Tan Kim Loong, also known as Eric. Both are alleged to be involved in the 1MDB scandal. 

"Singapore law enforcement and regulatory agencies have been actively investigating possible money-laundering and other offences pertaining to 1MDB-related fund flows, starting in March 2015," said the Singapore authorities. 

"Following investigations, the Singapore authorities issued warrants of arrest in April/May 2016 and at Singapore’s request, INTERPOL published Red Notices in October 2016, for Low Taek Jho and Tan Kim Loong, who are suspected to have committed offences in Singapore and cannot be located here. All members of INTERPOL, including Malaysia, would have been aware of the Red Notices when they were published."

Low was said to be among the main criminals in the scandal by Malaysia Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Thursday. An arrest warrant for Low was later issued by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. 

The Singapore authorities added in the statement that Singapore does not tolerate the use of its financial system as a refuge or conduit for illicit funds.


Several individuals have been convicted by Singapore courts in connection with 1MDB-related fund flows. Financial institutions such as Credit Suisse, UOB, Standard Chartered Singapore and Coutts have also been fined.

Yeo Jiawei, a former BSI banker who profited at least US$3.5 million from illicit transactions, was jailed for four-and-a-half years in July last year for money laundering and cheating. He was also handed a 30-month sentence for perverting the course of justice. 

Yeo's former BSI colleague Yak Yew Chee, who had failed to report suspicious transactions, was fined S$24,000 and jailed 18 weeks in November 2016. Yvonne Seah, a former BSI director, was fined S$10,000 for failing to do the same. 

Others who had been convicted in Singapore include Kelvin Ang Wee Keng, who was fined S$9,000 for corruption, and former Falcon Private Bank branch manager Jens Fred Sturzenegger, who was jailed 28 weeks and fined S$128,000 for failing to report suspicious transactions. 

Investigations are continuing into several other individuals suspected of being involved in 1MDB-related offences in Singapore, the statement added. 

Source: CNA/ng(aj)