Singapore authorities hold further discussions with Malaysia's 1MDB task force, both to continue cooperation

Malaysia has acknowledged Singapore's work in providing information on 1MDB-related fund flows during the meeting. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The Singapore authorities have held further discussions with Malaysia's 1MDB task force, with both sides agreeing to continue the cooperation.

Officers from the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC), the police's Commercial Affairs Department and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) met the task force, led by Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, in Singapore on Thursday (June 7).

The task force is investigating the alleged theft of billions of dollars from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

The meeting followed an earlier one last week in Kuala Lumpur, according to a joint statement on Friday by the AGC, the police and MAS.

Since March 2015, Singapore has worked to provide Malaysia information on 1MDB-related fund flows, which Malaysia acknowledged in the meeting, the statement said.

"It was a productive meeting, with a fruitful exchange of information," the statement added. "Both sides agreed to continue this cooperation."

In response to queries on the issuance of Interpol Red Notices, the authorities said in the statement that the notices for Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho and Mr Low's close business associate Tan Kim Loong were published in October 2016 at Singapore's request.

The Malaysian authorities on Thursday issued an arrest warrant against Mr Low, also known as Jho Low. He was described as the "best witness" to provide information on alleged crimes at the controversial state fund.

An Interpol Red Notice is a request by a member country to locate and provisionally arrest a person based on a valid national arrest warrant.

Mr Low and Mr Tan are suspected to have committed offences in Singapore and cannot be located here, the statement said.

Singapore law enforcement agencies and regulatory agencies mounted investigations in March 2015 into possible money laundering and other offences pertaining to 1MDB-related fund flows.

And in April and May 2016, warrants of arrest for the two men were issued.

In the statement, the authorities said that Singapore does not tolerate the use of its financial system "as a refuge or conduit for illicit funds".

Strong action has been taken against financial institutions and individuals who have broken laws within Singapore's jurisdiction in connection with 1MDB-related fund flows, the statement added.

Such action includes criminal charges and convictions, and large financial penalties.

Investigations into several other suspects involved in 1MDB-related offences in Singapore are ongoing.

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