Singapore steps up meetings with Malaysia over 1MDB probes

Officials from Malaysia and Singapore have been meeting to discuss evidence and map a money trail to detect existing funds and assets in the 1MDB case. (Reuters pic)

SINGAPORE: Investigators from Singapore and Malaysia have been meeting to share information about probes related to 1MDB, according to authorities in the city-state.

Malaysia is working with several countries including Singapore on what’s alleged to be a US$4.5 billion fraud from the state investment fund.

The probe has quickened since Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s shock election win in May. Former prime minister Najib Razak, who faces four charges for offences tied to 1MDB, pleaded not guilty yesterday in the High Court.

Singapore has fined eight banks and sent four people to jail over the scandal. Authorities in the city issued warrants of arrests for Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho and his associate Tan Kim Loong, two central figures in the case, in 2016.

A former BSI SA banker is serving a 54-month jail term, the longest sentence in the case so far, for offences including his role in transactions connected with 1MDB and its unit Brazen Sky Ltd.

“Low Taek Jho and Tan Kim Loong remain key persons of interest to Singapore,” a representative for the city’s police said in response to Bloomberg News queries.

“Singapore has been providing Malaysia with information on 1MDB-related fund flows, since March 2015 to date, and this has been acknowledged by Malaysia.”

Officials from the two countries met on May 31 near Kuala Lumpur and discussed collecting evidence, identifying Singapore witnesses and mapping a money trail to detect funds and assets that still exist.

“Since the second meeting between the Malaysian and Singapore authorities on June 7, the law enforcement agencies in both jurisdictions have followed up with several more meetings in Singapore,” the police representative said by email.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said yesterday it was “looking very closely” at new information and may reexamine banks in the city if there’s new evidence.

Investigators are continuing probes into various individuals, said Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, without giving further details.

 

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