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Very few expect the US to stop at civil action to seize assets allegedly embezzled from 1MDB

US action puts time limit on 1MDB affair

Very few expect the US to stop at civil action to seize USD1 billion in assets allegedly embezzled from 1MDB, says a Business Times report.

SINGAPORE: The US Government’s move to seize assets allegedly stolen from 1MDB may place a “time limit” on the status quo, says a report in The Business Times.

Prior to the civil forfeiture suit filed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) it seemed as if there was no “expiry date” on the 1MDB affair and its political ramifications.

This, the report said, was likely to change with the exposes in the 136-page complaint filed by the DoJ which, among other things, alleged that a total of USD731 million of 1MDB’s funds meant for investments in energy and real estate were circuitously routed to a private bank account.

Therefore, it would be hard for the authorities to claim “don’t know” and pretend that nothing was wrong, the report quoted an unnamed observer as saying.

Very few, according to The Business Times report, expect the US to stop at the civil action to seize USD1 billion in assets allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.

That means the Malaysian administration would have lots of explaining to do.

As recent as March this year, the narrative by Malaysian officials was that Jho Low, one of those named in the DoJ suit, had never worked in 1MDB or made any decisions or transactions involving the company.

The US filings allege the opposite.

According to the report, based on communication transcripts, Low was referred to as “the 1MDB Operator or intermediary in Malaysia” by an unnamed Goldman Sachs managing director in an email in 2012, the year that the Terengganu Investment Authority changed its name to 1MDB.

The filings also allege that Low had diverted tens of millions of dollars from his Good Star account to fund “The Wolf of Wall Street”, the five-Oscar nominated Hollywood movie produced by a firm co-owned by Riza Aziz, Najib’s stepson.

Some observers, according to the report, expect Umno to come under pressure to act if the US action cranks up.

…more
US action puts time limit on 1MDB affair
July 26, 2016 – FMT

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