Report: Singapore authorities probing Deutsche Bank executive’s role in 1MDB

Singapore is reportedly investigating outgoing Deutsche Bank senior executive Tan Boon-Kee over her role in 1MDB’s account. — Reuters pic
Singapore is reportedly investigating outgoing Deutsche Bank senior executive Tan Boon-Kee over her role in 1MDB’s account. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 — Singapore enforcement agencies involved in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) probe in the republic are currently investigating an outgoing Deutsche Bank senior executive over her purported involvement with the fund, Bloomberg reported.

Citing people with knowledge of the probe, the report said that the executive, Tan Boon-Kee, who was the banking group’s Asia Pacific head, was interviewed by Singapore’s Commercial Affairs Department “as recently as August”.

According to the report, the Monetary Authority of Singapore questioned Tan’s employer about the extent of her role with 1MDB’s account.

Tan had reportedly resigned from her position last month, and is currently on garden leave. However, Bloomberg reported that she has not been slapped with any charges, and said it was unclear if her resignation was related to the 1MDB probe.

The report said that Singaporean investigators in Singapore had questioned Tan about her dealings with fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, who is currently a wanted figure in both Malaysia and Singapore for alleged money laundering crimes.

She was also reportedly probed for her links to former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng.

Citing those in the know, Bloomberg reported that Ng had introduced Low to Tan, who joined the German banking group in 2013, and becoming one of the lead bankers for the 1MDB account.

Bloomberg reported that Deutsche Bank was a key lender to 1MDB, and its “joint global coordinator” for an aborted initial public offering (IPO) of the firm’s energy assets.

Charged with money laundering in absentia, Low today finally penned a personal letter in a new website denying all allegations that he masterminded the theft of billions of dollars from 1MDB.

The 36-year-old Penang-born said he set up the website Jho-Low.com to “set the record straight” on the plethora of allegations filed by government agencies worldwide.

Low also said he would provide court documents and other materials, including excerpts from news reports to defend himself from the “global media circus”.

His emergence comes on the heels of the publication of two books chronicling his role in the 1MDB saga: Billion Dollar Whale, written by Wall Street journalists Tom Wright and Bradley Hope; and The Sarawak Report, authored by Clare Rewcastle Brown. Both books, released in Malaysia last week, are said to have been sold out in the Klang Valley.

On August 24, Low was slapped with eight charges under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act over the transfer of several hundred million US dollars in the BSI Bank in Singapore.

His father, Tan Sri Larry Low, faces similar charges under the same law for transferring US$56 million (RM231.7 million) to his son.