Malaysia is pursuing civil action to recover about RM4 billion of funds disbursed by a former subsidiary of 1MDB, a now-defunct state fund under investigation for money laundering, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
It is the latest action by the authorities seeking to recover billions of dollars allegedly stolen from 1MDB.
Malaysian and US investigators believe about US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by top officials of the fund and associates between 2009 and 2014.
The RM4 billion was disbursed by 1MDB unit SRC International and used around the world, Lim said.
"The government through SRC is in the midst of pursuing civil action towards that purpose and will work with the relevant authorities to track the money," he said in a statement.
BSI Bank in Switzerland, Bank Julius Baer & Co Ltd in Hong Kong and a Mongolian coal exploration company are among the firms that received the funds from SRC, Lim said.
The RM4 billion disbursed by SRC was borrowed from the retirement fund, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), and any recovered monies will be returned to the fund, Lim said.
The finance ministry took over SRC from 1MDB in 2012.
Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak has been charged with 42 criminal offences related to losses at 1MDB and other state entities. He has consistently denied wrongdoing.
Prosecutors last week wrapped up their case in the first trial against Najib, in which he is accused of illegally receiving US$10 million from SRC.
Najib has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.