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Singapore seizes bank accounts in 1MDB probe

Singapore said today it has seized a large number of bank accounts in connection with possible money-laundering offences related to investigations into alleged financial mismanagement at Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Singapore is cooperating with authorities in Malaysia, Switzerland and the United States on the investigations into 1MDB, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Commercial Affairs Department, the city-state’s white collar police, said in a statement.

“In connection with these investigations, we have sought and are continuing to seek information from several financial institutions, are interviewing various individuals, and have seized a large number of bank accounts,” the two agencies said in the statement.

The statement came after Switzerland’s chief prosecutor said last week a criminal investigation into 1MDB had revealed that about US$4 billion (RM16.6 billion) appeared to have been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies.

1MDB, whose advisory board is chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, has been investigated by Malaysian authorities following accusations of financial mismanagement and graft. 1MDB has denied these allegations.

Attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali last week cleared Najib of any criminal offences or corruption and said he was closing the investigations into it.

Najib was buffeted last year by allegations of graft and mismanagement at the debt-laden state fund and by a revelation that about $681 million was deposited into his personal bank account.

Najib denied any wrongdoing.

Apandi said the US$681 million transfer to Najib’s account was a gift from Saudi Arabia’s royal family, and said no further action needed to be taken on the matter.

- Reuters

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