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Evidence of 'suspicious transfers' in 1MDB probe, claims Swiss AG

Published:  |  Modified:

Just days after attorney-general (AG) Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared Prime Minister Najib Razak of wrongdoing, his counterpart in Switzerland has claimed to have found evidence of suspicious money transfers involving 1MDB going through his country's financial institutions.

“We are very concerned,” the Swiss AG was reported telling The Wall Street Journal ( WSJ ) in a statement yesterday, in relation to Malaysia ending its 1MDB probe.

“We have found evidence of suspicious money transfers linked to 1MDB going through Swiss financial institutions, and we believe that it is very important that it is shared with the Malaysian authorities,” WSJ reported him as saying.

The report also cited the Swiss Office of the AG expressing concerns that Malaysia's move would thwart their own investigations.

“There appears to have been a sizeable fraud taking place here, and we believe [the case] should not be allowed to drop like this,” said Swiss Office of the AG spokesperson Andre Marty.

“Without assistance from Malaysia, our investigation in Switzerland risks running into a dead-end,” WSJ reported him saying.

According to the report, Swiss authorities contacted the Malaysian authorities after the latter's announcement on Tuesday for comment, and have not received a response from the Attorney-General’s Chambers to their request.

Lauber today released a public statement saying he has formally asked for Malaysia's assistance in his probe into possible violations of Swiss law by the state-owned 1MDB.

The Swiss AG alleges suspected misappropriations amounting to approximately US$4 billion (RM16.6 billion).

1MDB 'not contacted'

In response, 1MDB today said it has not been contacted by any foreign legal authorities but that it is ready to cooperate.

"As we have previously stated, 1MDB has not been contacted by any foreign legal authorities on any matters relating to the company.

"1MDB remains committed to fully cooperating with any lawful authority and investigation, subject to advice from the relevant domestic lawful authorities, and in accordance with international protocols governing such matters," said the state fund in a terse one-paragraph statement.

Meanwhile, whistleblower website Sarawak Report in a statement today said the "bluntness" of the Swiss AG was "unprecedented" and vindicated their reports on the scandal thus far.

"In doing so (issuing the statement), the Swiss attorney-general has substantiated each of the major allegations printed by Sarawak Report and other investigators into 1MDB over the past year since the original details from the dossier of Swiss national Xavier Justo was revealed by this news portal," said the UK-based website.

Related stories:

Evidence of 'suspicious transfers' in 1MDB probe, claims Swiss AG

Swiss AG suspects US$4b misappropriated, seeks M’sia help

Reform needed as AG juggles conflict of interest, says think-tank

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