Singapore Convicts Fifth Person Involved in 1MDB-Related Cases

(Bloomberg) -- Kelvin Ang Wee Keng was fined S$9,000 ($6,477) after he admitted that he made a corrupt payment to an analyst in a Singapore case related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd investigations.

Ang, 35, was a broker with Kim Eng Securities Pte until 2015 and made about S$100,000 annually in commissions, prosecutor Vincent Ong said in a Singapore State Court on Wednesday. He was charged a year ago for what authorities said was corruptly giving S$3,000 to a research analyst to speed up the preparation of a favorable valuation report.

While the charge sheet at that time didn’t give further details, the city’s Attorney-General’s Chambers said he was “implicated in a number of illicit transactions” with former BSI SA wealth planner Yeo Jiawei. Yeo is appealing his conviction and 30-month jail term for obstructing justice in another case relating to the 1MDB probe. Ang, who is now unemployed, was Yeo’s friend, Ong said in court.

The payment was given to expedite a report for a $2.4 billion valuation for PetroSaudi Oil Services Ltd. assets, Ong said. Ang made $235,000 in referral fees in a deal involving the PetroSaudi assets, Ong said.

Hamidul Haq, Ang’s lawyer, said his client “used an uncharacteristic approach of trying to give a carrot instead of going through the proper channels.” The payment was a “simple-minded action,” Haq said.

Handing down the penalty, Judge Lim Keng Yeow said “corruption must be robustly deterred.”

Ang is the fifth person to be convicted on charges linked to Singapore’s probe into the troubled Malaysian state investment fund. As well as Yeo, two other BSI bankers and an ex-branch manager at Falcon Private Bank Ltd. in Singapore received jail terms.

Singapore has shut the local units of BSI and Falcon, and banned former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Tim Leissner over breaches linked to 1MDB. The city has also fined banks for anti-money laundering lapses related to the Malaysian fund. 1MDB, which is at the heart of multiple probes across the globe, has consistently denied wrongdoing.