Malaysia brings back old corruption fighters for 1MDB task force

The taskforce will also be responsible for identifying and seizing assets acquired using funds allegedly siphoned from the state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - Malaysia is bringing back former 1MDB investigators to head a task force focused on reviving probes into the troubled state investment company and recover assets lost due to wrongdoing.

The team will be led by former Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail and former anti-graft agency chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed, who both left their posts under Mr Najib Razak's government during the previous probe into 1MDB, the Prime Minister's office said on Monday (May 21).

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was elected just two weeks ago, is moving fast to root out corruption from his administration.

He has prevented those linked to wrongdoing in state finances from leaving the country, drafted a wide scope of investigation into 1MDB, and is set to see the anti-graft agency begin questioning Mr Najib on Tuesday (May 22), following several searches at the former premier's residence.

Mr Najib has denied wrongdoing.

The police's former special branch deputy director Abdul Hamid Bador and recently-appointed Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Mohd Shukri Abdull will also lead the group, according to a statement from the Prime Minister's office.

"This taskforce will also be responsible for seeking cooperation of various enforcement agencies in the United States, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada and other related countries," the office of new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in a statement.

The team will be responsible for prosecuting individuals involved in any wrongdoing in the management of the state fund, whose full name is 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Attorney-General's Chambers, Royal Malaysia Police, and Bank Negara Malaysia will be members of the task force.

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