408 bank accounts frozen by KL task force

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arriving at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arriving at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

A total of 408 bank accounts with funds amounting to RM1.1 billion (S$370 million) have been frozen by the 1MDB task force as part of the investigation into the troubled state fund .

The accounts - belonging to 81 individuals, 55 companies, a political party and non-governmental organisations - are believed to have received funds from the scandal-plagued 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

"The accounts are believed to be linked to the misappropriation and abuse of 1MDB funds. It involves almost 900 transactions between March 2011 and September 2015," the task force said in a statement yesterday.

It added that there was no issue of "victimising anyone" as the accounts were frozen "based on the law", referring to claims by former prime minister Najib Razak that Umno is being victimised as some of the party's bank accounts had been frozen.

The task force also said it is currently determining the level of involvement by the relevant parties, and called for full cooperation.

"The 1MDB task force will not discount the possibility of more bank accounts being frozen in the future," it added.

Earlier yesterday, Malaysia's graft busters also quizzed newly elected president of Umno Ahmad Zahid Hamidi over alleged misappropriation of funds from a charitable foundation, Yayasan Akal Budi, run by his family and 1MDB.

The 65-year-old arrived at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters at 9.50am after he was summoned by the anti-graft agency. "Today was about 1MDB, I have given my statement since 10am... I am done with 1MDB," he told reporters as he was leaving the premises at 6.40pm.

"But tomorrow, I will continue on (the alleged misappropriation of funds at) Yayasan Akal Budi," Datuk Seri Zahid added.

He said the MACC also recorded his statement on a purported meeting with a member of Saudi Arabia's royal family who is said to have donated money to Datuk Seri Najib.

Mr Najib's stepson, Mr Riza Aziz, is also expected to have his statement recorded to facilitate the 1MDB probe today, as reported by news site The Malaysian Insight yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2018, with the headline '408 bank accounts frozen by KL task force'. Print Edition | Subscribe