Former Malaysian officials probed by corruption watchdog over 1MDB funds: Report

Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz (left) and Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop are being investigated by the the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's former central bank governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz and former minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nor Mohamed Yakcop are being investigated over ties to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds, according to a local media report.

Local newspaper Mingguan Malaysia, quoting a source, reported on Sunday (Jan 23) that police are also investigating Tan Sri Zeti's husband Tawfiq Ayman over allegations that he received funds related to 1MDB.

The source said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) investigation focused more on the receipt of money into Datuk Tawfiq's account in Singapore after RM5 billion (S$1.6 billion) was raised by 1MDB in 2009 via the Ambank Group.

The matter came to light when the MACC sought to recover 1MDB's assets both locally and abroad involving several "big names" associated with sovereign wealth fund.

"Among the 1MDB's assets abroad such as in Switzerland, Kuwait, Mauritius, Cyprus and Hong Kong are worth RM20.5 billion," the report said.

"The involvement of these individuals was identified when the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of Singapore on Nov 12 returned the money belonging to the former CEO of SRC International Sdn Bhd, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, to the Malaysian government through the Asset Recovery Trust Account of the Finance Ministry worth RM3,617,513.91," it added.

The Malay daily noted that Singapore had earlier returned the RM64.42 million assets involving the Cutting Edge Industries account owned by Mr Tawfiq and his business partner Samuel Goh.

On the investigation on Ms Zeti and Tan Sri Nor Mohamed, the source said the MACC is investigating allegations of misconduct, with the report noting that every investment involving 1MDB funds at that time was definitely done with Mr Nor Mohamed's knowledge.

The report added that the source said the MACC is investigating the individuals under the MACC Act 2009 and the Money Laundering Act 2001.

It said that when contacted, MACC Money Laundering Division director Mohammad Zamri Zainul Abidin confirmed receiving a complaint from an NGO urging that an investigation be carried out on Ms Zeti and Mr Nor Mohamed on Dec 22.

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