Singapore to return $15m in 1MDB-linked funds to Malaysia

The return of $15.3 million of seized funds related to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal has been approved by the Singapore State Courts.

SINGAPORE - The Singapore State Courts has approved the return of $15.3 million of seized funds related to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.

Approval to send the money back to Malaysia came after the Commercial Affairs Department worked with the Attorney-General's Chambers to file three court applications, the police said on Monday (Sept 10).

This came after the state investment fund 1MDB and the Malaysian government lodged claim notices.

A police spokesman said: "The three (court) applications have been granted by the Singapore State Courts, and the monies will be transferred to Malaysia."

This is the first repatriation of funds after high-ranking officials in Singapore and Malaysia met in May. They had agreed to work together to recover money supposedly misappropriated from the state fund founded by former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

News agency Reuters reported that Singapore-based law firm Tan, Rajah and Cheah said in a statement that the funds were recovered in various currencies from 1MDB and its former subsidiary, SRC International.

The money will be transferred to a special 1MDB recovery account in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad has said that he is seeking to claw back US$4.5 billion potentially lost from 1MDB.

Malaysian investigators are working with foreign authorities, including those in the United States and Singapore, to trace complex transactions that have spawned investigations in at least 10 countries.

In 2016, Singapore authorities said they had seized $240 million in cash and properties as a result of investigations into 1MDB-related fund flows through the country.

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