US Department of Justice says pursuing investigations related to Malaysia's 1MDB

A file photo of a man walking past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the funds flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - The US Department of Justice said on Tuesday (May 22) it would continue to pursue investigations into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and looked forward to working with Malaysian law enforcement authorities, which have reopened a probe into the state fund following a change of government this month.

"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that the United States and its financial system are not threatened by corrupt individuals and kleptocrats who seek to hide their ill-gotten wealth," a DoJ spokesperson said in an e-mail statement to Reuters.

"Whenever possible, recovered assets will be used to benefit the people harmed by these acts of corruption and abuse of office," the statement added.

The US filed forfeiture complaints in 2016 and 2017 seeking to recover more than US$1.7 billion (S$2.3 billion) in assets traceable to funds allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.

These complaints alleged that more than US$4.5 billion was diverted from 1MDB and laundered through a web of shell companies and bank accounts located in the United States and elsewhere.

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