Swiss authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the relationship between a state investment fund tied to the Malaysian Prime Minister and suspicious transactions into the Malaysian banking sector.
The investigation is focused on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a strategic development company owned wholly by the government of Malaysia. Enquiries were triggered after a number of reports to the Swiss Money Laundering Reporting Office (MROS). Malaysian Prime Minister Mr. Najib Razak, is in the spotlight since he is the head of 1MDB’s advisory board.
As a spokesman for the Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General stated:
‘1MDB has accumulated more than $11 billion in debt. It is essential to note that the company has a government guarantee on some of its borrowings’.
No Swiss authorities have contacted 1MDB, according to the company, they are willing to assist in any investigation if approached. Last month, Malaysian investigators traced almost $700 million deposits, linked to Mr. Najib’s personal bank accounts, after the movement of cash among companies, banks and agencies that are linked to 1MDB. As reported by the Malaysian authorities, the source of the money was unclear.