Singapore has seized a large number of bank accounts in its investigations into alleged money laundering and other offenses related to Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB, The Wall Street Journal reported.
1Malaysia Development Bhd., set up in 2009 by Prime Minister Najib Razak to spur economic growth, is under investigation in several countries.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Commercial Affairs Department, in a joint statement, said they were cooperating with investigations being carried out by authorities in the United States, Malaysia and Switzerland.
A Malaysian government probe last year found that almost US$700 million entered Najib’s private accounts via banks, agencies and companies linked to 1MDB.
The bulk of the money flowed from the Swiss bank account of a British Virgin Islands-based company before a close Malaysian election in 2013, the Malaysian government said.
The company held its account at a Singapore branch of the Swiss bank, the probe found.
Malaysia’s attorney general said last week the money that entered Najib’s accounts was a legal “personal donation” from Saudi Arabia’s royal family and ordered Malaysia’s antigraft agency to end its investigation.
The Swiss attorney general’s office, which is investigating 1MDB, said Friday it suspects that about US$4 billion has been misappropriated from “Malaysian state companies”.
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