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In an article on Goldman Sachs Group Inc being probed by US investigators for misconduct, Wall Street Journal alleged the group wired US$3billion to a bank in Singapore. The proceeds were from a 1MDB bond staged by Goldman.
However, after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a statement denying any such funds ever reached any banks on its shores, WSJ issued a footnote to the article saying the money was in fact wired to BSI SA in Switzerland, not the BSI in Singapore.
It said an earlier version of the article incorrectly stated Goldman Sachs Group Inc. wired $3 billion in proceeds from a March 2013 bond issued by Malaysia’s 1MDB to the state fund’s account in Switzerland at BSI SA, according to a person familiar with the matter. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the money was sent to 1MDB’s account at the private bank’s Singapore branch.
The Malaysian Prime Minister office (PMO) however issued a lambasting note to the media, criticizing WSJ for inaccurate reporting and for attempting to overthrow a democratically elected regime.
It further said WSJ was the tool of Tun Mahathir Mohamad, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, who is openly urging the removal of Prime Minister Najib Razak from power.
Mahathir says Najib siphoned billions from 1MDB.
WSJ showed a trail of the money which it said partially ended into Najib’s private account at a local bank in Malaysia.
In the June 8 article, WSJ made further accusations the US$681 million found in Najib’s account was from the 1MDB-Goldman Sachs trail.
From BSI, half the $3 billion bond issue was funneled into offshore investment funds because it wasn’t needed immediately, 1MDB said.
Some of the money ended up in Devonshire Funds, run by a Bangkok-based financial firm, according to bank-transfer information reviewed by the Journal. Devonshire in turn sent $210 million to Tanore Finance, a now-defunct British Virgin Islands shell company. An employee of Devonshire declined to comment.
Tanore also received other money that originated with 1MDB, according to investigators and bank-transfer documents.
In March 2013—the same month Goldman had sold the $3 billion bond—Tanore transferred $681 million into Mr. Najib’s private bank account, according to investigative documents.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. wired $3 billion in proceeds from a March 2013 bond issued by Malaysia’s 1MDB to the state fund’s account in Switzerland at BSI SA, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Days after Goldman sent the proceeds into a Swiss bank account controlled by the fund, half of the money disappeared offshore, with some later ending up in the prime minister’s bank account, according to people familiar with the matter and bank-transfer information viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The cash was supposed to fund a major real-estate project in the nation’s capital that was intended to boost the country’s economy.
One red flag investigators believe, is that Goldman wired the $3 billion in proceeds to a small Swiss private bank instead of to a large global bank, as would be typical for a transfer of that size, the people said.