Penang-born billionaire Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, had used "Eric Tan" as a proxy name for opening bank accounts as well as corporate entities.
This was revealed in a Singapore court during the case of Falcon Private Bank branch manager Jens Fred Sturzenegger, according to Channel News Asia.
On Wednesday, Sturzenegger was sentenced to 28 weeks in jail and fined S$128,000 for failing to comply with anti-money laundering regulations, not highlighting suspicious transactions and providing false information to authorities.
According to the report, the court heard that Sturzenegger was introduced to "Eric Tan" by his group chief executive officer Eduardo Leemann via an email in January 2012.
When Sturzenegger met “Tan” the following month, the latter reintroduced himself as "Jho Low".
Low explained that he used the name "Eric Tan" occasionally for "security reasons", said the report.
Quoting deputy public prosecutor Jacky Leong, the report said it was then Sturzenegger realised that “Eric Tan”, whom he had been communicating with, was in fact Jho Low.
The report said Sturzenegger also knew that “Eric Tan” was not just an alias but that it belonged to a real person.
This was because he had seen the real Tan's passport and curriculum vitae as part of the account-opening process.
The report said four accounts were opened at Falcon Private Bank under various corporate entities with “Eric Tan” listed as the beneficiary.
Two of these accounts, under the names of Tanore and Granton, received US$1.265 billion in funds in March 2012.
"Sturzenegger became extremely apprehensive of the inflow of such astronomical sums of monies and expressed concern that the funds could be related to money laundering," said the report.
Despite this, Sturzeneggar, as the most senior executive of the Singapore branch, did not file a suspicious transaction report.
"Jens Sturzenegger is a former employee of the bank and the investigation was against him as an individual and not against the bank," a bank spokesperson told Reuters in an email.
"Therefore we can't comment on that," it was quoted as saying.
In October last year, Singapore revoked Falcon Private Bank's licence in the city-state and ordered its exit.
It was the second bank after BSI Bank was ordered to shut down in Singapore for failing to stop money-laundering activities linked to 1MDB funds.- Mkini