SINGAPORE (Feb 6): Yak Yew Chee, the senior private banker at BSI Bank in Singapore caught in the centre of investigations into the activities of 1Malaysia Development Bhd, signed a statutory declaration last year stating that he had not engaged in unlawful conduct. He also stated that he had neither given nor accepted gratification in relation to the 1MDB-linked accounts at BSI Bank that he oversaw.

Yak signed the statutory declaration on April 27 as a condition for the payment of his accrued bonus at BSI Bank, according to documents filed with the courts. Twelve of Yak’s personal bank accounts in Singapore with a total of $9.7 million were frozen in September last year, amid investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department and the Monetary Authority of Singapore into the activities of individuals and entities linked to 1MDB. Yak had applied to the courts for the accounts to be unfrozen in order to pay his income tax, legal fees and other expenses.

Prosecutors opposed the application and provided evidence that Yak had ample funds in accounts in Singapore and overseas that were not frozen. Yak himself gave evidence that he earned more than $27 million in salary and bonuses over the past four years, with $8 million still due to him. Court documents showed that between Aug 25 and Sept 10, when BSI Bank was conducting internal investigations, Yak transferred $5.7 million to foreign bank accounts. A total of $4.5 million was moved to Bank Julius Baer in Hong Kong.

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