Singapore will step up its supervision of financial institutions in light of allegations that banks in the city-state processed transactions linked to the embezzlement of billions of dollars from Malaysia. In a speech Monday, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Managing Director Ravi Menon said the regulatory agency would tighten its oversight of anti-money laundering (AML) and counterterrorism financing controls and strengthen its enforcement efforts against financial institutions (FIs), including through more stringent compliance examinations and tougher penalties. The agency, which will conduct "more intrusive inspections" of high-risk firms, will also publicize compliance penalties for serious violations going forward, Menon said...
The latest move by U.S. officials to confiscate hundreds of millions of dollars in assets believed tied to the theft of a now-estimated $4.5 billion from a Malaysian state fund further outlines how the money was first siphoned, then routed through global banks.
The embezzlement of more than $3 billion from 1Malaysia Development Bhd. has drawn new attention to the risk of banking sovereign wealth funds, leaving financial institutions that manage their accounts increasingly exposed to enforcement at home and overseas.
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U.S. officials on Wednesday filed 12 civil complaints seeking the forfeiture of more than $1 billion believed stolen from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund and laundered through more than 20 banks worldwide.