A major bank has launched an investigation into its own employees as the controversy surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB), continues.
According to a Bloomberg
report, Swiss bank BSI SA, which has its main Canadian office in Mississauga, is investigating employees amid investigations relating to the Malaysian state investment fund. It has already suspended one employee in Singapore – Kevin Swampillai. The company’s managing director of wealth management services, has been suspended while investigations continue, although it should be noted that he has not been accused of wrongdoing by the authorities.
It has been alleged that 1MDB has been used to funnel money across to individuals with political connections. A report from a Malaysian parliamentary hearing revealed that the Swiss bank had introduced 1MDB to a Cayman Islands fund, which in turn has picked up a $2.32 billion investment. Now that investment – and the transactions connected to it – are subject to criminal investigations.
The first banker charged was Yeo Jiawei, who was a wealth planner for BSI. It has been alleged that Yeo proposed investment products to 1MDB while he was with the Swiss bank.
Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg
, Swampillai was mentioned in an obstruction-of-justice charge, along with another man said not to be from BSI. It has been alleged that Yeo asked Swampillai to falsely inform the police that money transferred to an entity beneficially owned by Yeo were another man’s investments.
It has been suggested by prosecutors that Yeo helped to move “staggering” amounts of money – and he has been accused of both money laundering and cheating the bank by hiding a $1.6 million annual payment he was set to receive.
According to Yeo’s lawyer, other employees must explain transactions and some of the charges against his client are not linked to the 1MDB case.