(Updated) Singapore to return RM43.9mil in 1MDB-related funds to M'sia

Veena Babulal and Luqman Arif Abdul Karim

KUALA LUMPUR: The Singapore State Courts have granted disposal orders for the monies that have been unlawfully misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and its subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd Group of Companies.

Tan Rajah & Cheah, who are the solicitors for the Malaysian government and the 1MDB group of companies, said that “the monies recovered are in various currencies with a total value of some S$15.3 million (RM43.9 million).

“These monies are being transferred to the special 1MDB recovery bank account in Kuala Lumpur. Efforts to recover other unlawfully misappropriated assets are ongoing,” said the statement issued today.

Malaysia earlier appointed the legal firm to recover billions of ringgit linked to the troubled state fund which was reportedly kept in Singapore under the names of 53 individuals, including business mogul Low Taek Jho who is wanted by the authorities probing the financial scandal.

Another account holder in the pact is SRC International managing director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil Nik Othman.

The special task force, appointed by Putrajaya to investigate the 1MDB scandal, was working with a similar task force formed by Singapore authorities to recover the money. They were also collecting evidence and tracking down witnesses in Singapore as well as establishing a money trail to trace funds and existing assets.

At least six countries, including the United States and Switzerland, were investigating claims that USD 4.5 billion (RM18.65 billion) was siphoned out of 1MDB, a fund founded by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Authorities in Singapore had acted against several individuals such as former BSI Bank wealth planner Yeo Jiawei for involvement in 1MDB-related money laundering activities.

It also closed down Zurich-based Falcon Private Bank’s Singapore branch, and withdrew BSI Bank Ltd’s status as a merchant bank in Singapore. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd