1MDB probe will be completed within a year, police assure

(FMT) – Police have given a guarantee that investigations into 1 Malaysia Development Berhad will be completed within a year despite the challenges of obtaining evidence from foreign countries.

At a press conference, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim also confirmed that US$972 million (RM2.973 billion) was transferred into Najib’s personal AmIslamic bank account through three companies namely Good Star Ltd , Aabar Investments PJS Ltd and Tanore Finance Corporation.

He said current police investigations revolved around commercial crime and money laundering.

He added the investigations involved evidence and witnesses, including those overseas, and that to obtain this, the police were seeking mutual legal assistance through the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“This is a very difficult investigation as we need to get assistance from foreign governments so we need time,” he said adding the police were seeking assistance from Singapore, US, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia.

“The chance of completing the investigation is good,” he said, adding that under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA), the police had a time frame of one year to complete their investigations.

He said if the investigations weren’t completed within a year the authorities would be open to legal action.

“But don’t worry, we will complete in a year’s time,” he said at the Bukit Aman police headquarters.

Elaborating on the investigations into money laundering, Noor Rashid said the police had recorded the statements of more than 50 people identified as recipients of proceeds from the money laundering.

These 50 he said included locals and foreigners with “a number” of them being politically affiliated and that there was a possibility some of them would be charged.

Noor Rashid also said police had not received any official request from any party for the return of seized items from the money laundering investigations, despite media statements being made by certain parties about them.

In May, police searched premises linked to former prime minister Najib Razak as part of their 1MDB probe and seized RM114 million in 72 bags of cash and valuables, and nearly 300 boxes containing luxury handbags, watches and sunglasses.

He said the police today issued a notice to those seeking the return of the goods to give their statement to the police.

“We expect that they will come in within the next few days to give their statements .”

Previously, Najib had said the money seized from the condominium belonged to Umno.

Noor Rashid also added police had received information on the whereabouts of controversial businessman Low Taek Jho but declined to comment on which country he was in.

Last month police charged businessman Low, better known as Jho Low with eight counts of money laundering. His father Low Hock Peng was also charged for transferring US$56 million to his son.

Low is among the central figures in the probe by US authorities into the scandal-plagued 1MDB.

Low’s whereabouts remain a mystery although there were reports that he was probably in China or Macau.