KUALA LUMPUR: The Swiss Attorney-General has revealed that as much as US$4 billion may have been misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd and transferred to Swiss bank accounts.
“Various former Malaysian public officials and both former and current officials of the United Arab Emirates” were said to be involved.
The Swiss Attorney-General has now invoked mutual assistance provisions for Malaysian action against two former officials of 1Malaysia Development Bhd and others.
The investigation involves bribery, misconduct in public office, and money laundering.
In a press statement yesterday, the Swiss AG’s office said agreement on cooperation between the two countries was reached at a meeting in Zurich on September 15 last year with Malaysian counterparts.
The Swiss investigation “has revealed serious indications that funds have been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies,” the statement said.
“The monies believed to have been misappropriated would have been earmarked for investment in economic and social development projects in Malaysia. So far four cases involving allegations of criminal conduct and covering the period from 2009 to 2013 have come to light in this connection (relating to Petrosaudi, SRC, Genting, Tanjong and ADMIC), each involving a systematic course of action carried out by means of complex financial structures.
It said criminal proceedings were opened on August 14 against two former officials of 1MDB and other unknown persons on suspicion of bribery of foreign public officials, misconduct in public office, money laundering and criminal mismanagement.
“The sum suspected to have been misappropriated amounts to around USD4 billion; its intended purpose is the subject of further investigations.
“So far it has been ascertained that a small portion of the money was transferred to accounts held in Switzerland by various former Malaysian public officials and both former and current public officials from the United Arab Emirates.
“To date, however, the Malaysian companies concerned have made no comment on the losses they are believed to have incurred. The object of the request for mutual assistance is therefore to advise the companies and the Malaysian government of the results of the Swiss criminal proceedings, with the aim of finding out whether losses on this scale have been sustained.”
The statement said a formal request for mutual assistance would be lodged with Malaysian authorities “within the coming days”.