Century Banking Corp’s (CBC) banking licence was revoked by the Bank of Mauritius (BoM) on Aug 24 after investigations revealed “significant illicit transfers” of funds linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
In a statement, the BoM said the bank’s licence was taken away after it “failed to remedy several breaches of the banking laws relating to capital requirement, internal control systems, compliance with anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism requirements and record-keeping obligations” even after repeated warnings.
However, Mauritian publication Le Defi, citing sources, said the revocation was also partly due to the conviction of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in late July, who was found guilty of all seven counts of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.
SRC is a former subsidiary of 1MDB.
The report said Mauritius’ Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found that several million rupees believed to have come from the defrauding of the wealth fund had passed through CBC accounts belonging to an “ultimate beneficiary” who had taken refuge in Thailand.
According to the report, the chief executive officer (CEO) of CBC will be questioned about allegations of money laundering, as well as millions of dollars moved through the bank.