Switzerland starts action against 1MDB

Switzerland's OAG has opened criminal proceedings relating to 1MDB.
Switzerland's OAG has opened criminal proceedings relating to 1MDB.PHOTO: REUTERS

ZURICH • Switzerland's Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) has opened criminal proceedings relating to Malaysia's troubled state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), said a spokesman.

1MDB, whose advisory board is chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak, is being examined by Malaysian authorities investigating accusations of financial mismanagement and graft.

The fund has been dogged by controversy over its RM42 billion (S$14 billion) debt and alleged financial mismanagement.

"The Office of the Attorney-General confirms that on Aug 14, 2015, it opened a criminal procedure against two entities of 1MDB as well as against an unknown person," the OAG spokesman said in an e-mail on Friday.

The case involved "suspected corruption of public foreign officials, dishonest management of public interests and money laundering", he said, adding that the criminal proceedings follow two communications from the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland.

The case involved "suspected corruption of public foreign officials, dishonest management of public interests and money laundering", the OAG spokesman said.

News of the investigation was first reported by Swiss newspaper Le Temps.

Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority said last Wednesday it was checking with some of the country's banks whether they carried out business with 1MDB.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC) has summoned billionaire Low Taek Low, or Jho Low, and two SRC International directors Nik Ariff Faisal Kamil and Suboh Mohd Yassin, to assist in investigations.

SRC International is a former subsidiary of 1MDB. Mr Low's spokesman told The Malaysian Insider yesterday that the businessman will contact MACC "to see how he can be of assistance".

REUTERS, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 23, 2015, with the headline 'Switzerland starts action against 1MDB'. Print Edition | Subscribe