Banker caught up in Malaysian 1MDB scandal went on $8.2m Gold Coast property splurge

former banker from Singapore accused of laundering money linked to Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal used a tax haven company as part of an $8.2m-plus splurge on Gold Coast property over little more than a year.

Yeo Jiawei’s foray into Australian property began with a $1.3m luxury oceanfront apartment in Surfers Paradise, which he bought in 2014 direct from a collapsed developer.

Guardian Australia can reveal that Yeo is a director of a Seychelles-registered company that then paid a further $6.9m for commercial properties in Broadbeach, the tourist town’s trendy dining precinct, a year later.

Australian federal police are reportedly examining whether money illegally taken from Malaysia’s 1MDB state development fund has been parked locally. That investigation includes whether any Australian citizens, residents or companies breached proceeds-of-crime laws.

It is not known whether the AFP is examining the properties linked to Yeo, who was sentenced to 30 months in jail last month by Singapore’s district court for witness tampering during a Singaporean investigation into the alleged laundering.

The court in that case heard that Yeo had acquired $6m of Australian property while allegedly playing a central role in the illicit movement of S$23.9m ($22.6m) of 1MDB funds when employed as a wealth manager at BSI Bank Singapore.

Money-laundering charges against Yeo are due to be heard in April, with the 34-year-old having denied committing the offences.

Property records in Australia show that Yeo paid $1.3m in October 2014 for a fifth-floor apartment in the Soul building, the Gold Coast’s second-tallest highrise, which overlooks Main Beach at the heart of the Surfers Paradise tourist strip.

Two months later a Seychelles-registered company called Connect Capital Global Investments Limited, of which Yeo is a director, obtained an Australian business number. It also registered to pay goods and services tax, indicating a predicted annual income of $75,000 or more.

Related posts

Leave a Comment