MACC chief: Malaysia aims to locate further RM19b in 1MDB-linked assets

Azril Annuar
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Latheefa Koya speaks to reporters after attending the 11th International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing 2019 in Kuala Lumpur November 5, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — The authorities have estimated that there are still RM18.9 billion of unidentified assets and property linked to scandal-hit 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), spread across at least five countries.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Latheefa Koya told reporters that her team is working together with the recently formalised National Financial Crime Centre (NFCC) to locate and investigate the assets.

“That is currently being pursued, apart from the very obvious ones, we note, if we look at the differences of amount that has taken, this is why we are working together with the NFCC — which was formalised recently to locate and investigate and research where these properties are, because you know it isn’t just a one-off transaction.

“It’s multiple transactions. We need to actually work together with the countries to give us [the information],” Latheefa said on the sidelines of the International Conference on Financial Crimes and Terrorism.

However, the MACC chief said that she could not disclose more information as investigations were still active and the agency did not want to tip off suspects.

She said the countries where the assets and properties are located have been cooperating but required the MACC to be “very specific and precise” in its investigations and requests for assistance.

Latheefa also clarified that the RM18.9 billion figure is not final and only an estimate as assets fluctuated in value according to market conditions.

The commission seeks not just to charge the perpetrators of the global financial scandal but also to recover the stolen assets in order to cripple their ability to fund their legal defence through wrongful gains.

Previously, when it came to corruption and fraud charges, the authorities only sought to charge the criminals for the crime committed instead of taking them down completely.

Related Articles MACC: Sessions Court judge, DPP and lawyer to be charged with corruption tomorrow MACC wants banks, financial institutions to aid war against corruption MACC confirms probe on all 16 Mindef land swap deals over past 25 years