Nothing to hide about 1MDB? Then cooperate, C4 tells govt

cynthia-gabriel_1mdb_600KUALA LUMPUR: If the government has nothing to hide, then it should cooperate with international authorities investigating state-owned 1MDB, says Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4).

“We have to be responsible and cooperate (with the authorities). Nothing should be closed as this is a serious investigation,” C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel told FMT.

She was responding to Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz, who said the United States Department of Justice’s (DoJ) civil forfeiture suit against 1MDB was Washington’s effort to disrupt Malaysia’s stability.

According to Cynthia, the fact that more than one country was probing allegations of money laundering in 1MDB, was enough proof that the US had no ulterior motive.

“We have been following the investigations on 1MDB, including those conducted by Switzerland’s Attorney-General (Michael Lauber).

“Nazri’s allegation doesn’t make sense when even Singapore has shut down two branches of Swiss private banks, Falcon and BSI, for money laundering allegedly linked to 1MDB.

“We don’t even know if the real perpetrators are still at large.”

Reuters earlier this week reported Lauber as saying that his office’s initiative in combing through money laundering reports and bank documents with help from Singapore, Luxembourg and the United States was bearing fruit.

He however, stressed that it would have been “very desirable from our perspective” if Malaysia had cooperated.

Lauber’s office in November last year, said Malaysia had once again rejected its request for assistance in the probe on 1MDB.

In July last year, DoJ through its investigation found that over US$3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB, the brainchild of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

On March 22, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US was prepared to charge Penang-born tycoon Low Taek Jho, who was named in the DoJ civil suit.