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Malaysia's anti-graft agency says about 70% of stolen assets, funds linked to 1MDB recovered

Malaysia's anti-graft agency says about 70% of stolen assets, funds linked to 1MDB recovered

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Commissioner Azam Baki. (File photo: Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki said on Tuesday (Mar 7) that about 70 per cent of stolen assets and funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) have been recovered. 

Local media reported Mr Azam as saying that the latest to be recovered was US$1.8 billion (RM8.05 billion) following a settlement with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and its unit Aabar Investments PJS (Aabar PJS).

"Overall we have recovered RM28.93 billion worth of 1MDB assets and funds. We estimate around 70 per cent of the assets and funds have been recovered," Mr Azam was quoted as saying by The Star. 

According to Mr Azam, MACC estimated that about 70 per cent of assets and funds linked to 1MDB have been recovered and efforts to recover the remaining assets and funds are still ongoing.

He added that the anti-corruption agency is doing its best to recover as much funds as possible. 

Last week, Malaysian finance ministry said that IPIC and Aabar PJS had agreed to pay US$1.8 billion to settle a legal dispute over the scandal at Malaysian state fund 1MDB. 

In a statement, the finance ministry said that the Abu Dhabi companies, 1MDB and Malaysia's Minister of Finance (Incorporated) had reached a settlement in respect of proceedings in the London Court of International Arbitration and the London High Court.

"With this settlement, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi look forward to continue working together for the prosperity and economic benefit of both countries in the future," said the ministry. 

According to media reports, Malaysia's 1MDB is the subject of corruption and money-laundering investigations in at least six countries.

Mr Azam on Tuesday said that MACC, especially its Anti-Money Laundering division, is part of the main task force which is responsible for recovering assets and funds belonging to 1MDB.

"We have been instrumental in the recovery efforts including conducting investigations, making arrests and prosecuting those involved in 1MDB (scandal),” he said, according to The Star. 

On Monday, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim spoke about the success of the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) and 1MDB in reaching the settlement with the Abu Dhabi companies, saying that it had exceeded his expectations. 

He also praised the efforts of civil servants, especially the Attorney General Chambers and the MACC. 

Mr Anwar noted that the settlement’s final amount was initially set between US$1.5 billion and US$1.7 billion. 

“Congratulations to the Attorney General and his department including all those involved in the negotiations who had relied little on external consultants,” said Mr Anwar as he was quoted as saying by Malay Mail during the monthly assembly with civil servants on Monday. 

Malay Mail reported Mr Anwar as describing the negotiations involving Malaysian officials with the Abu Dhabi companies as a testament to the competency of civil servants in handling the responsibilities entrusted to them.

“The capability and level of expertise among civil servants are there, and that needs to be utilised to restore the image of civil servants as the best in the country and the region," he added, according to Bernama. 

He also thanked the Malaysian king for using his “cordial relationship” with Abu Dhabi’s president to ease the ongoing negotiations with regard to the settlement.

Source: Agencies/nm(ih)


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