Malaysian police raid 1MDB office, PM weighs legal options
KUALA LUMPUR – Reuters
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak looks on during a meeting for new government interns at the Prime Minister's office in Putrajaya on July 8, 2015. AFP PhotoMalaysian police raided the office of troubled state investment fund 1MDB on July 8, following a report that claimed investigators looking into the firm found nearly $700 million had been transferred to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s bank account.
Najib has denied taking any money and said the corruption allegations are part of a malicious campaign to force him out of office.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported last week that investigators probing 1MDB had traced funds flowing into Najib’s personal account when he was campaigning for a general election over two years ago.
“We can confirm that a number of officials from the task force, conducting an enquiry into 1MDB, visited our offices today,” 1MDB said in a statement.
“They were provided with a number of documents and materials to aid with the investigations currently taking place.”
A police spokeswoman confirmed the raid, but did not give any further details.
1MDB, a property-to-energy group whose advisory board is chaired by Najib, has debts of around $11 billion.
Even before the WSJ report it was the subject of separate investigations by the central bank, auditor general, police and the parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.
The Wall Street Journal report, citing documents from a government investigation, said there were five deposits into Najib’s account.
The two largest transactions, worth $620 million and $61 million, were made in March 2013 during the election campaign, the paper said. It said they came from a company registered in the British Virgin Islands via the Singapore branch of Falcon Private Bank.
Reuters has not independently verified the WSJ report.
Singapore’s central bank said on July 8 that it would provide assistance to Malaysia and share information where it was legally able to.
Falcon Private Bank, a Swiss private bank owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund International Petroleum Investment Company, said it was already in contact with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and would be fully transparent with the authorities.
On July 7, the Journal released what it said were government documents from the probe of the prime minister, detailing a money trail that it said led to his personal bank account.
The Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, who is part of a special task force probing 1MDB, said the documents were already the subject matter of an investigation.