1MDB says not contacted by Swiss

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KUALA LUMPUR: Debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) said yesterday it has not been contacted by Swiss authorities but is ready to assist in any investigation if approached.

Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General on Friday said it had opened criminal proceedings relating to 1MDB, which involved “suspected corruption of public foreign officials, dishonest management of public interests and money laundering”.

“We remain committed to fully cooperate with all lawful authorities that are currently investigating 1MDB,” 1MDB said in a short statement.

1MDB, whose advisory board is chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has been dogged by controversy over its RM42 billion debt and is being examined by authorities investigating accusations of financial mismanagement and graft.

Najib is trying to reassert his leadership over his government and a stumbling economy following severe criticism after being embroiled in the 1MDB scandal.

In July, the Wall Street Journal reported that investigators looking into 1MDB found that nearly RM2.6 billion was deposited into Najib’s private bank account. Reuters has not verified the report.

The anti-graft agency has since verified the funds were a donation from the Middle East. It said on Aug. 3 that it would ask Najib to explain why the donation was deposited into his private account.

Najib has denied wrongdoing and said he did not take any money for personal gain. — Reuters