Switzerland freezes millions amid 1MDB investigation

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Najib and wife
Malaysia’s embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah

Swiss authorities said on September 2 they had frozen funds held in Swiss bank accounts amid a probe into people linked to Malaysia’s troubled state investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), on suspicion of corruption and money laundering.

“The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has frozen assets amounting to several tens of millions of US dollars on Swiss bank accounts,” a spokeswoman said.

“At this early stage of the procedure, the we are analysing and consolidating evidence and are already in contact with the Malaysian authorities. International cooperation with foreign countries, in particular with Malaysia, will probably be necessary to establish the facts,” she added.

The Attorney General in August opened criminal proceedings against two executives of 1MDB as well as against unknown persons on suspicion of corruption of foreign officials, misconduct in public office and money laundering.

“The proceedings are based on two notifications of suspicious transaction reports by the Swiss financial intelligence unit MROS,” a statement by the Attorney General’s office said. MROS is short for “Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland.”

In Malaysia, 1MDB said in a statement: “As far as 1MDB is aware, none of the company’s bank accounts have been frozen, adding that it was “in the process of developing a better understanding of the ongoing investigations in Switzerland so the company can cooperate to its fullest extent.”

Swiss financial regulator FINMA also said it was checking with some Swiss banks whether they had done business with 1MDB.

Malaysia’s attorney-general last month denied reports that a new task force would investigate 1MDB, saying the new body was just a “rebranding” of an existing team that focuses on crimes such as tax evasion and illegal fund flows.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia’s embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah

Swiss authorities said on September 2 they had frozen funds held in Swiss bank accounts amid a probe into people linked to Malaysia’s troubled state investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), on suspicion of corruption and money laundering.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Najib and wife
Malaysia’s embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah

Swiss authorities said on September 2 they had frozen funds held in Swiss bank accounts amid a probe into people linked to Malaysia’s troubled state investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), on suspicion of corruption and money laundering.

“The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has frozen assets amounting to several tens of millions of US dollars on Swiss bank accounts,” a spokeswoman said.

“At this early stage of the procedure, the we are analysing and consolidating evidence and are already in contact with the Malaysian authorities. International cooperation with foreign countries, in particular with Malaysia, will probably be necessary to establish the facts,” she added.

The Attorney General in August opened criminal proceedings against two executives of 1MDB as well as against unknown persons on suspicion of corruption of foreign officials, misconduct in public office and money laundering.

“The proceedings are based on two notifications of suspicious transaction reports by the Swiss financial intelligence unit MROS,” a statement by the Attorney General’s office said. MROS is short for “Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland.”

In Malaysia, 1MDB said in a statement: “As far as 1MDB is aware, none of the company’s bank accounts have been frozen, adding that it was “in the process of developing a better understanding of the ongoing investigations in Switzerland so the company can cooperate to its fullest extent.”

Swiss financial regulator FINMA also said it was checking with some Swiss banks whether they had done business with 1MDB.

Malaysia’s attorney-general last month denied reports that a new task force would investigate 1MDB, saying the new body was just a “rebranding” of an existing team that focuses on crimes such as tax evasion and illegal fund flows.

 

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