U.S. officials on Wednesday filed 12 civil complaints seeking the forfeiture of more than $1 billion believed stolen from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund and laundered through more than 20 banks worldwide. In court documents totaling more than 1,600 pages, federal prosecutors in New York and Los Angeles describe how individuals linked to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak purportedly colluded from 2009 through 2013 to siphon more than $3.5 billion from 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB) and invest the funds in artwork, aircraft, real estate and business deals. The complaints cite wire transfers and other financial interactions between Malaysia's central bank,...
The latest move by U.S. officials to confiscate hundreds of millions of dollars in assets believed tied to the theft of a now-estimated $4.5 billion from a Malaysian state fund further outlines how the money was first siphoned, then routed through global banks.
The embezzlement of more than $3 billion from 1Malaysia Development Bhd. has drawn new attention to the risk of banking sovereign wealth funds, leaving financial institutions that manage their accounts increasingly exposed to enforcement at home and overseas.
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Singapore will step up its supervision of financial institutions in light of allegations that banks in the city-state processed transactions linked to the embezzlement of billions of dollars from Malaysia.