FBI investigates 1MDB, says WSJ
(The Sun Daily) – The US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had started investigations on alleged money-laundering against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said in its latest report.
This follows the arrest and remand of former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan, who was scheduled to meet FBI officials tomorrow, under Section 124c of the Penal Code for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
Khairuddin and his lawyer Matthias Chang had also been barred from leaving the country by the Immigration Department while attempting to fly to London and the US on Police orders.
According to the report, an unnamed source told WSJ that the FBI had already initiated a probe against the sovereign wealth fund with RM42 billion in debt but denied that the agency had planned to meet the former Umno man or had any previous contact with him.
The report also stated that it is unknown what the FBI’s scope of investigation will be.
Following the Hong Kong police, the Attorney General’s Office of Switzerland, and the Singaporean police, the FBI is the latest foreign authority to look into 1MDB.
Singaporean authorities froze two bank accounts in July but declined to identify the accounts, its owners, or the amount of money in them.
Meanwhile, the Swiss authorities launched investigations of “suspected corruption of public foreign officials, dishonest management of public interest and money-laundering” and the Hong Kong police are investigating a deposit of more than US$250 million (RM1.06 billion) at a Credit Suisse bank there.
WSJ reported in early July that almost US$700 million of 1MDB funds were deposited into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s private accounts through its then subsidiary SRC International.
Joint investigations by the Police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and Bank Negara were launched to probe the matter while Najib, who is also Finance Minister, claimed innocence while threatening to sue WSJ over the report.
The Join Task Force assembled to probe 1MDB had since been disbanded while the Prime Minister’s lawyers are studying legal options against the influential financial newspaper.