1MDB scandal: Former director of Singapore's BSI Bank pleads guilty

Yvonne Seah Yew Foong was aware of the transactions but she never reported those to the authorities.

Singapore orders closure of Swiss bank BSI linked to 1MDB
The logo of Swiss private bank BSI Reuters

The former director at BSI Bank, Singapore branch, pleaded guilty on Friday to charges stemming from Singapore's probe into Malaysian scandal-hit state fund 1MDB.

Yvonne Seah Yew Foong pleaded guilty to three of seven charges: one for failing to report suspicious transactions and two for forgery. The 45-year-old director admitted that she effectively turned a blind eye to a number of suspicious transactions that involved Malaysian tycoon Jho Low's accounts at BSI Bank.

Jho Low has been named as a person of interest in Singapore's 1MDB probe and the allegations stated that he embezzled billions from the state fund. Reports said he moved US$790.35 million from 1MDB Energy (Langat) over two weeks in 2012.

Out of that money, US$110 was eventually deposited into a Swiss bank account in the name of Selune firm, which is owned by Low.

According to reports, Low moved the money through a complex series of transactions via different banks. It was transferred via nine accounts in six banks, including Standard Chartered Bank, Falcon Private Bank and Coutts in Switzerland to hide the true source of funds.

Being the director of the bank and having a close working relationship with Mr Low's personal banker Yak Yew Chee, Seah was aware of the transactions done by Low. But she never reported these issues to relevant authorities.