THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has recovered RM29.03 bil in funds and assets linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, which were subsequently returned to the government from 2019 to Feb 5 this year.
According to a recent statement by MACC, nearly RM24 mil in funds have been seized and recovered through various means including court proceedings and voluntary surrenders involving five individuals.
“The success in recovering the monies is the result of tracking and recovering of funds belonging to 1MDB by the MACC’s Anti-Money Laundering Division from last year to Feb 5.”
According to the graft busters, a significant portion of the recovered funds and assets was obtained through a court order issued by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Monday (Feb 5).
The order resulted in the seizure of assets worth approximately RM11 mil in both Malaysia and Singapore, belonging to individuals associated with the scandal including Jerome Lee Tak Loong and his wife Koay Ying Ying who were identified as accomplices of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, commonly known as Jho Low.
“The application to forfeit the assets was made under Section 56 and Section 64 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.”
Moreover, MACC highlighted several key recoveries including assets forfeited following the trial of Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng in the US in February 2022.
MACC also mentioned the forfeiture of three condominium units valued at RM7.05 mil owned by former foreign affairs adviser to former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Datuk Mohammad Kamal Yan Yahaya.
Kamal was found to have received 1MDB funds through various projects – Magnolia, Maximus and Catalyze – channeling them into the company account of Spring Elite International Ltd at BSI Bank, Singapore, leading to the forfeiture of his assets.
On Sept 29, 2023, MACC noted instances of voluntary returns of funds such as the US$972,251.25 (equivalent to RM4,551,399.45) returned by Najib’s former special officer Datuk Amhari Effendi Nazaruddin to the government via wire transfer from BSI Bank Switzerland.
Furthermore, MACC also recovered RM556,275.64 on Aug 30 last year from 1MDB officer Nurzahid Taib, who had received funds for two Maximus and Catalyze projects. MACC claimed the monies were deposited into the company account of Turquoise Coast Offshore Inc in which she has an interest.
Najib himself is facing multiple charges related to the misappropriation of 1MDB funds, including charges of bribery and money laundering totaling RM2.3 bil. – Feb 8, 2024
Main photo credit: The Edge Markets