The United States of America Department of Justice (DOJ) has returned another US$300 million to Malaysia from the misappropriated 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB fund. To date, Malaysia has received US$620 million (RM2.7 billion) from the US.
The scandalous 1MDB fund which was set up in 2009 by the government of former Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has also involved the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. These funds were laundered through financial institutions in the US, Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg.
The DOJ added that it had struck a deal with fugitive Malaysian financier Jho Low, to recover about US$1 billion of 1MBD funds from the sale of assets allegedly bought with misappropriated 1MDB funds. However, Low still appears to be missing, as his interview with Singaporean newspaper The Straits Times earlier this year offered no clue to his whereabouts.
The returned US$620 million consists of US$57 million from the proceeds of the settlement with Red Granite Pictures (credited in March 2019), US$137 million from the sale proceeds of Jho Low’s interest in the Park Lane Hotel (credited in April 2019) and US$126 million from the judicial sale of the luxury yacht, Equanimity, by the Malaysian Admiralty Court (credited into the trust account in December 2019).
“The recovery of 1MDB-related assets is still ongoing, and the Ministry of Finance will continue to extend its fullest cooperation to all domestic and offshore investigating entities to ensure equally positive outcomes from these efforts in future,” said Minister of Finance Tengku Datuk Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
“The payment reflects the United States’ continuing commitment to the Malaysian people to hunt down, seize, forfeit, and return assets that were acquired in connection with this brazen scheme,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the DOJ’s criminal division.
Source: The Malay Mail, The Straits Times