By FRITZNER NEPTUNE
Former Credit Suisse banker, Surjan Singh, testified to a jury in Brooklyn Federal Court on Thursday that he had accepted millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks from a shipbuilding executive on trial for investment fraud.
Singh, who was arrested in London and already has pleaded of conspiracy to commit money laundering, took the witness stand in the ongoing trial of Privinest Group banker Jean Boustani, accused by U.S. prosecutors of being the mastermind of a mammoth $200 million scheme to defraud U.S. investors.
Singh told the jury that he received $5.7 million in bribes from Boustani, whom he said he once considered a brother but that their friendship soured after Boustani threatened him when the fountain of money dried up.
Singh was responsible for handling projects in Mozambique that was contracted to Privinest Group in 2013.
“Each transaction under the project went through a number of committees,” said Singh.
Singh admitted that the payments sent from Privinest went through several committees
that were meant to detect if any fraud was taking place. This was overlooked by those same committees.
The prosecution charges that the creation of the Mozambique project was to disguise the payments as they were truly meant to be bribes to bankers in Credit Suisse on behalf of Privinest.
Andrew Pearse, Singh’s former boss who had testified against the defendant earlier, allegedly told Singh how there was potential to make extra money through Bustoni, This conversation took place right after Pearse stepped down to work for another company.
Singh plays an important role in this trial as he was the main contributor to the bribes by Boustani. Singh said that his actions should not cause any mistrust from other investors that work closely with Credit Suisse.
Boustani, a Lebanese banker, has denied all the charges.