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Swiss OAG: MLA request already sent to M'sia

Published
Modified 6 Oct 2016, 11:00 am

An official request for a second mutual legal assistance has been sent to Malaysian authorities over investigations into alleged embezzlement and money laundering involving 1MDB, says Switzerland's Office of the Attorney General.

"The Swiss further mutual legal assistance request has been sent through diplomatic channels," an OAG representative told Malaysiakini.

The OAG added they cannot comment beyond that.

However, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said earlier today it has not yet received any additional mutual legal assistance request from the Swiss OAG to assist in its investigation into 1MDB.

"Nevertheless, this chambers wishes to reiterate its commitment in international cooperation and will appropriately consider the request in accordance with the law once it is received through the diplomatic channel, in accordance with the relevant provisions of Malaysian law relating to mutual legal assistance," the AGC said in a statement.

The AGC said this after the Swiss OAG announced yesterday it is seeking additional assistance, after finding what it termed to be a Ponzi-like scheme involving 1MDB subsidary SRC International.

Meanwhile, 1MDB deflected requests for comment on the latest Swiss OAG statement.

"...any queries relating to this matter should be addressed to the relevant lawful authority," the government investment arm said in a response to questions from Malaysiakini.

1MDB also reiterated that it has not been contacted by the authorities of Switzerland or any other foreign lawful authority in relation to their investigations into purported embezzlement and money laundering.

At present, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Switzerland, Singapore and the United States are looking into the allegations, with assets seized, banks shutdown and persons charged.

"As previously stated, 1MDB will fully cooperate with any foreign lawful authority, subject to international protocols governing such matters and the advice of the relevant domestic lawful authorities," the investment arm said.

1MDB was responding to Malaysiakini's query on yesterday's statement by the Swiss OAG.

The OAG said yesterday its earlier request for mutual legal assistance has not yet been executed by the Malaysian authorities but that it is confident that both requests will soon see a favorable conclusion.

It noted that the new request is linked to fraud where monies were laundered from 1MDB coffers and then covered up with the use of SRC funds in a kind of 'Ponzi' scheme, with money from new investors used to pay off proceeds to old investors.

Malaysiakini has also reached out to SRC on the matter and is awaiting its reply.

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