1MDB probe: Malaysia cops raid law firm linked to Goldman Sachs

A Goldman Sachs desk at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, US,  on Jan 18, 2019.
A Goldman Sachs desk at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, US, on Jan 18, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) – Malaysia’s police have asked law firms to turn over documents related to 1MDB bond sales that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. arranged, as part of an investigation involving the US lender. 

Police have raided Rahmat Lim & Partners, the law firm that represented Goldman in the deals, on Thursday (Jan 24) morning to search for the documents, The Edge newspaper reported, citing a person it didn’t identify.

Saiful Azly Kamaruddin, acting director for the police’s commercial crime investigation department, confirmed the raid.  

Goldman Sachs is facing its first criminal charges related to its role in arranging US$6.5 billion for the scandal-plagued state investment fund 1MDB. Malaysian prosecutors alleged that the bank misled investors in the three bond sales while knowing the money raised would be misappropriated.

The bank has said it will vigorously defend against the allegations. 

Investigators obtained a court order to raid Rahmat Lim & Partners after the firm refused to hand over the requested documents, according to The Edge. Wong & Partners, which represented 1MDB in the deals, had already provided documents to the police, the report said. 

A spokeswoman for Wong & Partners said they don’t comment on ongoing investigations, as per their policy. 

In a statement issued on Thursday evening, Rahmat Lim & Partners confirmed the raid, saying that the police have requested documents relating to two bond issuances. 

"We had previously acted in a limited role as Malaysian legal counsel for Goldman Sachs in such bond issuances, supporting an international English law firm which was the lead counsel," the firm said.

"We had, at the request of the police, previously provided them with all documents which are not subject to attorney-client privilege. However, we were prohibited by law from providing other requested documents."

Nevertheless, Rahmat Lim & Partners said they are committed to cooperating with the authorities.