Swiss authorities have expanded a criminal probe related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB) to include two former Abu Dhabi officials involved in dealings with the Malaysian state investment fund.
The former officials are suspected of fraud, criminal mismanagement, forgery, bribery, misconduct in public office and money laundering in connection with a 1MDB financing deal for power plants that was to be guaranteed by an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Swiss attorney general’s office was quoted as saying that it has reason to believe that payments made to guarantee the financing were diverted from the sovereign-wealth fund and went instead to “the public officials concerned as well as a company related to the motion-picture industry”.
The disclosure comes in the wake of a Journal report about the possible diversion of funds from 1MDB to movie production company Red Granite Pictures, which was co-founded by Riza Aziz.
Aziz is the stepson of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who established 1MDB in 2009.
The new Swiss statement comes shortly after the International Petroleum Investment Co., an Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund, disclosed that it didn’t receive payments from 1MDB which the Malaysian fund had previously claimed it sent.
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