Ex-BSI Banker Trial Concludes with Denials

Yeo Jiawei, testifies, defense, BSI, 1MDB, Jho Low, trial, Singapore

Yeo Jiawei (picture: court documents)

Former BSI banker Yeo Jiawei sought to distance himself from alleged 1MBD linchpin Jho Low in a criminal trial – but said he reaped millions from an Abu Dhabi official.

On the last day of his first criminal trial, Yeo Jiawei downplayed ties with Jho Low, who U.S. officials say is at the heart of the 1MDB scandal, or Low’s girlfriend, Chuan Teik Ying, or that he has spent time at Low’s home in Hong Kong, even wearing his clothes, according to local media.

Yeo seemed to contradict himself as was cross-examined, initially saying he couldn't recall a flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong with Low, then later saying he was present to be introduced to a high-ranking Abu Dhabi official by BSI private banker Yak Yew Chee.

Yak pleaded guilty last week in connection with 1MDB and was sentenced to 18 months jail and fined S$24,000. 

«Just Chatting, Joking»

Yeo said he only earned $5,000 from Low and an associate for setting up bank accounts, trusts and managing companies, but made up to $15 million from referring two Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds to Amicorp, a provider of services such as administration and legal advice to private banks like BSI.

Yeo was also confronted about his behavior to colleagues and associates after he left the Swiss private bank, which was shut down in May, and began working directly for Low. He was described by a prosecution witness as turning arrogant and dismissive following the move. 

The former BSI banker denied this, saying «we are just chatting, joking» when shown instant messages which appeared to boast of private jet flights.

Yeo denied being close to Low, saying Yak, the banker who pleaded guilty, has always been present. The trial of Yeo was set to conclude on Thursday, with other charges including money-laundering and forgery set to be tried next year.

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