PM among those to be investigated over 1MDB, says IGP


(The Sun Daily) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak will be among several individuals who will be investigated by a special task force set up to probe alleged discrepancies in the fund management of 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today that the special task force to probe 1MDB comprises the police, Attorney-General’s Chambers and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

He said the task force set up last week will get to the bottom of allegations of discrepancies and misappropriation of funds involving the government-owned strategic investment company.

The strategic investment fund has been embroiled in controversy over its financial dealings and debts, with many questioning whether public funds had been misused, in the wake of claims that 1MDB’s financial position has been deteriorating, with total debts amounting to RM42 billion.

“Investigations have begun as a report has been lodged … so whoever concerned will be called up,” Khalid said at a press conference after the signing ceremony on a collaboration between Derby University and the police force for degree and diploma policing courses for police personnel.

Khalid was commenting on a statement by PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli who claimed that news in the Sarawak Report website linking 1MDB’s former CEO Datuk Shahrul Halmi, business tycoon Low Taek Jho aka Jho Low and Najib to 1MDB has shown there are sufficient grounds for the authorities to launch a probe.

Asked if Najib, who is 1MDB’s advisory board chairman will also be investigated as part of the probe, Khalid said: “Yes”.

He said the case has been classified as one of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code.

Rafizi had in a statement today claimed that from recent exposés carried in the Sarawak Report website, it appeared to him that there are sufficient grounds to probe and prosecute Low and Shahrol for contravention of the Anti-Money Laundering Act and criminal breach of trust.

Over the weekend, Low had denied allegations published on the Sarawak Report website that he had siphoned off US$700 million (RM2.5 billion) from a deal between 1MDB and Saudi Arabia’s PetroSaudi International.

The denial was stated in a letter sent by his legal representative from British law firm Schillings to AFP, saying that the website’s allegation was “false, materially misleading and is categorically denied by our client”.

AFP, in a report, had said Low was “consulted” on the deal “but has never been involved in criminal acts with respect to this transaction”.

Sarawak Report last week had published a report on a series of alleged internal emails that it said showed US$700 million was involved in a now-defunct 2009 joint venture between 1MDB and PetroSaudi.

Low’s lawyers said the allegations were “defamatory” adding that they contained “substantial inaccuracies and false allegations”.

Meanwhile, in Shah Alam, MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed said the commission’s investigation will only begin after the Auditor-General’s Chambers has completed its audit of the company.

“The auditors will go in first, conduct their investigations and then the findings will be presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). If there is a case, they will bring it to the relevant authorities,” he said today after the launch of an integrity pledge signing ceremony at Puspakom here.

Abu Kassim said this due process will be followed before any investigations begin, adding that the commission has to wait for the Auditor-General and the PAC’s report.

Also present at the corporate integrity pledge ceremony were MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner Datuk Mustafar Ali and DRB-Hicom group managing director Tan Sri Khamil Jamil.