Singapore— The Singapore Police Force said on July 18, Thursday, that around S$50.3 million of seized 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)-related money has either been returned to Malaysia or is now being processed in banks in preparation for being returned to the country.
The Police told Channel NewsAsia (CNA) that in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Commercial Affairs Department has filed court applications to return the money.
The Police said, “The first tranche of court applications for the return of about S$15.3 million in 1MDB-related (money) was granted in September 2018 and the second tranche of about S$35 million was granted in March 2019.
Part of the (money) has already been transferred to Malaysia, while the rest is still being processed by the banks.”
On July 12, Lim Guan Eng, the Finance Minister of Malaysia, said that RM92.3 million (S$30.5 million) of 1MDB-related funds has been recovered from Singapore.
Last September, a court in Singapore ordered the return of S$15.3 million of 1MDB-related funds to Malaysia.
In 2016, Singaporean authorities said that S$240 million in cash and properties had been seized in the process of investigating 1MDB-related fund flows into Singapore.
The Malaysian Finance Minister also announced on Friday that to date, the amount of RM925.1 million (S$305 million), money that is in connection to 1MDB, has been given back to the government of Malaysia in different currencies.
Mr Lim said that of the total amount that has been returned, RM805.8 million (approximately S$266 million) came from the US—RM238 million (S$78.6 million) was from Red Granite Pictures and RM567.8 million (S$187 million) was from the Park Lane Hotel in New York.
The amount of RM27 million (S$8.9 million) was recovered from within Malaysia. From the 1MDB Foundation, RM6.1 million (S$2 million) was recovered, and from 1MDB itself, RM20.9 million (S$6.9 million).
According to Mr Lim, “This is the result of the efforts made by the authorities, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Royal Malaysia Police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the cooperation with foreign authorities.
Efforts to recover the funds will continue to repay 1MDB’s debts amounting to RM51 billion.”
The Malaysian government announced in June that it expects to recover around US $5 billion (S$6.8 billion) of foreign assets related to 1MDB.
According to investigators from the US and Malaysia have determined that between 2009 and 2014, around US$4.5 billion (S$6 billion) was misappropriated from the fund by high-level officials.
In May, the Government of Malaysia, as well as the country’s police, filed two civil forfeiture suits against former prime minister Najib Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor as well as other individuals, in order to take possession of items worth RM711million (S$234 million) which had purportedly been purchased using funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Mr Najib allegedly used his office as Prime Minister and ordered that the audit report concerning the controversial 1MDB be altered between February 22 and 26, 2016, at the Prime Minister’s Office, before this report was finalised and prepared for presentation to the Public Accounts Committee.
Malaysia’s Attorney General, Tommy Thomas, declared last year that the government would be seeking billions in fines and jail terms for Goldman Sachs and four other people for reportedly channeling RM11.3 billion (S$3.7 billion) from 1MDB. -/TISG