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Bernie Ecclestone admits to £400m fraud amidst unfurling scandal engulfing Singaporean minister and business elite

Former Formula One chief, Bernie Ecclestone, admits to fraud, failing to declare over £400m in a Singapore trust, amidst an unfolding international tax evasion scandal. Tied to a civil settlement, he agrees to repay £653m to HM Revenues and Customs.

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Bernie Ecclestone, the nonagenarian billionaire and former chief of Formula One, has reversed his plea to guilty in a fraud case where he was accused of failing to declare over £400m held in a trust in Singapore, bringing to light a widespread international tax evasion investigation.

In an unexpected turn, Ecclestone has agreed to repay £653m (US$803.7m) to HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) as part of a civil settlement.

Initially set to stand trial next month after a previous plea of not guilty, the 92-year-old will now await sentencing at a later date.

Prosecutors emphasized that Ecclestone, despite his earlier assertions, stood to gain from the undisclosed overseas trust and knowingly provided “untrue or misleading” answers to HMRC regarding his overseas assets.

Although Ecclestone admitted to being unclear about the account ownership structures, he recognized the wrongdoing in potentially obstructing HMRC investigations by providing inaccurate information. He accepted that some tax is due concerning these affairs.

A globe-spanning investigation has revealed deeper layers to this tax evasion scandal, extending its roots to Singapore.

MPs in Singapore’s parliament expressed concerns about the efficacy of anti-money laundering measures at the bank where Ecclestone’s funds were purportedly held.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and other national agencies have closely collaborated with UK authorities in their investigation and prosecution of Ecclestone.

The MAS conducted an inspection of the bank in 2017, which revealed areas for improvement in anti-money laundering processes but found no systemic weaknesses.

In a separate but potentially connected turn of events, Singapore’s Transport Minister S. Iswaran and billionaire businessman Ong Beng Seng were arrested on 11 July and are currently cooperating with the authorities, although the specific nature of the probe remains undisclosed by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Both have been released on bail with Minister Iswaran’s passport confiscated and instructed to take a leave of absence pending the investigation’s conclusion.

Ong, a prominent figure in the Formula One world and owner of various global properties, is closely connected to Ecclestone due to his role in bringing the F1 race to Singapore in 2007.

Although further details of the alleged offences are awaited, reports from the online media outlet Asia Sentinel suggest that the investigations upon Iswaran and Ong might be intertwined with the Ecclestone case in London.

A source provided a tip-off suggesting that the F1 accounts were used as evidence to demonstrate corruption.

Among the entries, a payment was allegedly made to Ong, serving as reimbursement for covering Iswaran’s expenses related to the use of the VIP lounge at the F1 event in Singapore.

Subsequently, a Singaporean individual reportedly noticed this entry and informed the CPIB, according to the Asia Sentinel.

Commenting on the recent development in a Facebook post, Reform Secretary-General Kenneth Jeyaretnam said, “Of course, with no trial, we’re unlikely to see any more details. I’m reminded of the Phey Yew Kok case, where he pleaded guilty and we got no further details.”

Investigations into Iswaran and Ong are supposedly still ongoing, and they have not been charged for any offences.

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If they the MIW are involved in any dirty scandals, their skin grows thick to just sit around and collect money whilst the elephant in the room thuds about. Look at that Ivan guy, PM say will investigate but until now quiet like nothing happened. Just the audacity to blatantly shrug off anything as long as it involves them, because they know it that they own the judicial system as much as they deny it. As long as the majority is in power, this’ll continue to happen and nobody can do anything about it. This is abuse of authority.

Last edited 8 months ago by Mateo

Greedy and evil PAP basturds have made Singapore the Money Laundering Capital of the World!!!
Criminals from all over the world are washing their black money in Singapore!!!

We are paying Iswaran for no work done while the PAP govt. is silent about the corruption case. It is difficult to acknowledge LHL as the son of LKY who would have ended it within a week.

SillyPore, has indeed become the “parking” capital for all sorts of monies from all sorts of endeavours.

Recent events have certainly highlighted the city state, … to the world, given the exposure and attention it has no doubt attracted, … given the large sums involved, and the ease with which it has found in way into the island’s supposed strict and straight banking cum financial institutions !!!

It would appear 1Mdb was but a cameo/supporting role in SillyPore, … in the grand scheme of things !!!

What a very complex case!
CPIB surely will issue them A STERN WARNING.

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Another can of worms opened, how not surprising.

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