Bank Negara closes 1MDB probe

The headquarters of Bank Negara Malaysia is pictured in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 12.
The headquarters of Bank Negara Malaysia is pictured in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 12. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR • Investigations into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) have been completed, and all necessary actions have been taken against the state investment fund, Malaysia's central bank chief said yesterday.

"We have completed all our investigations on 1MDB based on all the information (available for us) and the investigations papers," said bank governor Muhammad Ibrahim.

"We have imposed a penalty on the company."

"We have taken all the necessary actions against the company as entrusted to us under the law, and we have closed the investigations," he said in response to a reporter's question about whether Bank Negara would initiate a new probe into 1MDB following the findings by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

The department last month filed a civil suit against several individuals, including the stepson of Prime Minister Najib Razak and his former adviser, saying it planned to seize more than US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) worth of assets from them. It said the monies were the result of US$3.5 billion stolen from 1MDB.

Datuk Muhammad said Bank Negara "will be guided by international protocols" if the DOJ approaches the central bank for assistance in its investigations.

"When it comes to international collaborations, we are dictated by certain protocols," he said. "We will abide strictly by those protocols when it comes to cooperation with any external investigating bodies."

He was speaking at a press conference to announce Malaysia's economic data.

The central bank in April fined 1MDB for failure to fully comply with financial regulations. The breaches included 1MDB's repatriation of funds abroad even though Bank Negara revoked its permission in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The sum that 1MDB paid the bank was not disclosed.

Bank Negara said in May that the payment for the fine would mark the conclusion of its probe into contraventions of the rules and regulations of the central bank.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2016, with the headline 'Bank Negara closes 1MDB probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe