Singapore’s Standard Chartered Bank was fined S$5.2 million today (Dec 2) for money laundering Malaysia’s state funds 1MDB. Also sentenced today was the Singapore branch of Coutts & Co, which was fined S$2.4 million for money laundering charges in the same case.
1MDB funds, amounting to S$240 million, were transacted in Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore between 2010 and 2013.
Six Singapore banks have so far been charged for money laundering the high profile corruption case involving Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Last month, DBS and UBS were each fined S$1 million and S$1.3 million respectively for money laundering. Singapore branches of Switzerland-based Falcon Private Bank and BSI were each fined S$4.3 million and S13.3 million, and both were shut down by the Singapore government.
However no individual from any of the six Singapore banks was singled out for prosecution. Speculations are rife that the Singapore authority is aware of the money laundering of IMDB funds as early as 2013, but the Singapore government took actions only after the corruption was publicly exposed in 2015 by the New York Times.
Cotts and Co will shut down in Singapore following the verdict.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is cleared of all corruption charges by his Attorney General and his newly-appointed investigators. Like Lee Hsien Loong, critics of the dictator Prime Minister face defamation lawsuits and jail sentences.