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Swiss court: Former Coutts & Co banker found guilty in US$700m 1MDB transfer

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 1): A former Coutts & Co banker was found guilty yesterday by Swiss authorities of “failing to flag money-laundering concerns related to a US$700 million (RM2.97 billion) transfer into an account controlled by Low Taek Jho” aka Jho Low, Bloomberg reported.

Jho Low has been widely reported to be the brains behind the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) mega scandal.

The report stated that the man identified as "A", was fined 50,000 Swiss francs (RM232,112) by the Swiss Federal Criminal Court yesterday.

"There were numerous signs that there were serious indications of money laundering, which grew over time," the Swiss Federal Criminal Court said in a statement.

"Despite being aware of these well-founded suspicions, A left the communication to regulatory officials until the moment he left the bank," Bloomberg reported the court saying.

Previous reports and publications have revealed that Jho Low set up a Seychelles-registered company called Good Star in May 2009 and opened an account at Coutts' Singapore branch about a month later.

In September 2009, Jho Low demanded an end to all communication with Coutts in Singapore and to receive updates only from Coutts' Swiss unit to a gmail address he created: [email protected]

“Despite the unorthodox demand, A approved Jho Low's request to transfer US$700 million from 1MDB to an account held in the name of Good Star,” Bloomberg stated in its report.

A wrote in an Oct 2, 2009 email that "the due diligence is so far good and we have sufficient evidence that the payment is true and valid".

The Malaysian authorities want Jho Low arrested over the scandal and the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador earlier this week announced that the fugitive financier/dealmaker is believed to be in Macau.

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