Officials from Malaysia and Singapore meet over 1MDB investigation
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian officials probing state investment company 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) are meeting with investigators from Singapore, people familiar with the matter said, signaling that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamadâs administration will cooperate with probes underway around the globe.
The two sides were gathering around Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the meetings were private.
Singapore has seized hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and jailed bankers over transactions linked to the scandal-plagued fund.
A member of Malaysiaâs 1MDB taskforce formed to coordinate the probe couldnât immediately comment when reached by phone.
A spokesman for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) declined to comment when asked to confirm the meeting. Singapore police couldnâ t immediately confirm the meeting.
Dr Mahathir, who took power earlier this month after the countryâs 14th general election, is trying to uncover the extent of alleged embezzlement and money laundering at 1MDB, which was set up by former premier Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in 2009 to attract foreign investment.
Investigators in the United States and Europe had complained of a lack of assistance from Malaysian authorities under the previous administration.
A cooperative Malaysia could help investigators around the world piece together how billions may have been embezzled and laundered through major financial centres in the United States, Europe and Asia to finance what the United States said were spending sprees by corrupt officials and their associates.
Najibâs government and 1MDB had repeatedly insisted all its funds were accounted for.
Members of Malaysiaâs 1MDB taskforce met with officials from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and th e Department of Justice last week to discuss the focus and direction of probes.
Swiss prosecutors have said they wanted to start talks with Malaysian counterparts as soon as possible to better coordinate various criminal probes into the sprawling case.
In recent years, Singapore ordered two Swiss private banks to shut, fined other large banks, seized assets and banned at least eight people from the finance industry for their actions on 1MDB-related transactions.
Singapore authorities said this month theyâve cooperated extensively with their Malaysian counterparts on past requests for information related to 1MDB-related transactions.
Prosecutors in Singapore have described 1MDB as the countryâs largest and most complex money-laundering case.
They said its banking and financial systems were used as conduits for billions of dollars of funds siphoned from 1MDB, aided by officers from the fund and bankers in the city state who ignored suspicious and high-risk transactions for their own purposes. â" BloombergRelated NewsSource: Google News