Malaysia Hopes to Recover US$7 Billion of 1MDB Money

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia hopes to recover a total of US$7 billion (US$1=RM4.14) that was allegedly misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

“We are hoping to get back US$7 billion,” Dr Mahathir said when asked how much Malaysia hoped to recover.

The Prime Minister also confirmed that the United States is preparing to return US$200 million linked to the troubled state investment fund.

“They are going to give it back to us. They know this is our money. Singapore is also giving it back to us,” he told a press conference after Pakatan Harapan’s Presidential Council Meeting here today.

Dr Mahathir had previously said the stolen 1MDB money which amounted to US$4.3 billion would make its way to Malaysia, but not all of it.

According to a news report by Bloomberg today, the US authorities were in the midst of preparing to return about US$200 million of funds allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB to Malaysia, which was likely to be transferred as soon as next week.

The report said this included some US$140 million generated from the sale of a stake in New York’s Park Lane Hotel, as well as a settlement paid by the producer of the “Wolf of Wall Street” movie worth US$60 million.

Bloomberg said Singaporean authorities were going to return about S$35 million (S$1=RM3.04), which was surrendered by former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng and his family in connection with 1MDB to Malaysia.

It said a Singapore court order was granted on March 21 for the money to be repatriated to 1MDB.

Goldman Sachs earned about US$600 million in fees for its work with 1MDB, which included three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013 that raised US$6.5 billion.

Last year, Switzerland Attorney-General (AG) Michael Lauber confirmed about US$7 billion of 1MDB’s fund was circulated in the global financial system and the Swiss government had frozen some 400 million Swiss francs (1 Swiss franc=RM4.07) believed connected to the state fund in the country.

He had said direct contact with the AG of Malaysia has been made in order to make a clear statement that Switzerland is still interested in coordinating with Malaysia.

“That means setting up priorities, exchanging the latest updates on the investigation, and also to exchange views about different legal systems,” he said.

— BERNAMA

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