JOHOR BAHRU, Oct 31 — Malaysia will now proceed to make a claim over 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) assets in the United States following a settlement by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) involving the recovery of 1MDB assets.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said part of 1MDB money had been used by Jho Low to buy assets in America, estimated to be worth USD600 million.
“He (Jho Low) has now surrendered…not to contest against DoJ. Therefore, DoJ now holds and freezes the assets that were bought with Malaysian money.
“We had proof he (Jho Low) is using Malaysia’s money to buy the asset and we will now make a claim (over the IMDB assets) to the American government,” he told reporters after an official visit to Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (BSI) here, today.
In a statement today, DoJ said it had reached a settlement to recover more than US$700 million worth of assets acquired by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, and his family using funds allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.
DoJ said the assets were located in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
Commenting on whether the Prime Minister is responsible in making decisions overselling and disposal over government strategic assets, he said: “I am the chairman of Khazanah Nasional, so in a way, I am involved.”
“We had to sell assets because the previous government lost a huge sum of money which we had to pay,” he said by doing that, the government used the money to repay debts made by the previous government.
Dr Mahathir said, however, these strategic assets were sold through a proper channel, which was through tender process and with good prices offered by bidders.
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