Photographer: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Singapore Charges Ex-Falcon Bank Manager in 1MDB-Linked Case

  • Jens Sturzenegger is fifth person charged in city’s probes
  • Falcon Private Bank ordered to close in Singapore in October

Singapore prosecutors charged a former branch manager of Falcon Private Bank Ltd., the fifth person to be indicted in the city-state’s probe linked to a scandal-hit Malaysian state investment fund.

Jens Sturzenegger, a Swiss, faces 16 charges including failing to report to the authorities that $1.27 billion of inflows into two bank accounts were suspicious, according to papers filed Thursday in a state court. He intends to plead guilty, his lawyer Tan Hee Joek said in court.

Singapore has sanctioned banks over money laundering breaches, seized assets and charged bankers as it investigates fund flows linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd. The city has promised tougher action to help repair the damage to its image as a financial hub. The Malaysian fund, which has consistently denied any wrongdoing, is at the center of multiple probes across the globe.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore in October ordered Falcon Private Bank to shut in the city and Sturzenegger, 42, was arrested. Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny, the bank’s former chairman, has been named as a person of interest in Singapore’s probe. Sturzenegger and unidentified senior managers at the Swiss bank had impaired the effectiveness of its compliance arm, the regulator said at the time.

Sturzenegger, who’s out on bail, is also accused of providing false information to the authorities, including that he didn’t know Low Taek Jho, a Malaysian financier. Low has previously described his role with 1MDB as informal consulting that didn’t break any laws.

The criminal case is Public Prosecutor v Jens Fred Sturzenegger, Singapore State Courts.

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