MACC chief: Return 1MDB money or face legal action

MACC chief commissioner Mohd Shukri Abdull (right) says no notice was given to account holders as this would jeopardise the investigations.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today urged those whose accounts were frozen as part of the 1MDB investigations to come forward and return the money voluntarily or face legal action.

MACC chief commissioner Mohd Shukri Abdull said the accounts frozen by the anti-graft agency were those suspected of having received funds from 1MDB, irrespective of whether they were owned by individuals, societies, companies or political bodies.

“If they have problems, come and see MACC. The aim of the 1MDB task force is to recover the funds from 1MDB. These belong to the people, and even if the amount is one sen, the task force will endeavour to recover it.”

Speaking at a media conference at Gerak Budaya here today, he said MACC had ample proof that the credited funds belonged to 1MDB.

Yesterday, the 1MDB task force said 408 bank accounts belonging to 81 individuals and 55 companies involving RM1.1 billion in funds were frozen on June 26 and 29.

It said these involved 900 transactions made between March 2011 and September 2015.

Shukri said the decision to freeze the accounts did not require MACC to issue notices to the account holders as this would jeopardise investigations.

“If we were to give notice, the funds would be spirited away, and there would be no element of surprise in our investigations.”

He did not discount the possibility that more accounts would be frozen as the 1MDB investigations were ongoing.

“To date, that is the amount that we have detected. Maybe tomorrow or the next day it will increase. Maybe there will be other accounts that we will have to freeze.”

Last Friday, the 1MDB task force confirmed that it had frozen the accounts of individuals and several organisations, including Umno and other political parties.

The task force includes former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail, Bukit Aman Special Branch director Abdul Hamid Bador and former MACC chief Abu Kassim Mohamed.