A former manager at a Swiss private bank has been sentenced to 28 weeks in jail and fined $AUD 120,000 for breaching Singapore’s anti-money laundering regulations.
Early this year, a Singapore court found Jens Sturzenegger, a former branch manager at Falcon Private Bank, guilty of six charges including failing to report suspicious transactions totalling more than $1.7 billion.
Sturzenegger, a Swiss national, is the first foreigner to be charged in Singapore following an ongoing money laundering investigation into Malaysian state investment fund 1Malasia Development Berhad (1MDB).
1MDB, founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, is at the centre of money laundering investigations in at least six countries, including Singapore and the United States. Over $4.76 billion is alleged to have been misappropriated from fund by people close to Razak.
Sturzenegger pleaded guilty to six counts, including lying to police and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) about his connections to financier Low Taek Jho, a key figure at the centre of the international money laundering investigations into 1MDB.
In October 2016, MAS shut down and withdrew Falcon Private Bank’s Singapore banking licence and imposed a fine of $4.05 million for breaching money laundering and terrorism financing regulations. Fines were also imposed on DBS Bank and UBS for similar regulatory breaches.
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