Malaysia recovers $460 million in stolen 1MDB money, Latest World News - The New Paper

Malaysia recovers $460 million in stolen 1MDB money

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has recovered US$322 million (S$460 million) stolen from the scandal-hit sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), officials said yesterday - a fraction of the more than US$4.5 billion US prosecutors say was looted.

Another US$1.6 billion plundered from 1MDB has been identified and steps are being taken to recover it, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's office said.

Former top officials at the state fund and their cronies allegedly stole billions from 1MDB and used the money to buy items ranging from a super yacht to artwork.

The massive fraud allegedly involved former prime minister Najib Razak and his inner circle.

The allegations contributed to Najib's shock 2018 election loss, and he has since been put on trial. He denies wrongdoing.

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who led a coalition that toppled Najib from power at the polls, had spearheaded efforts to recover the looted money.

But Dr Mahathir abruptly resigned last month after his coalition collapsed amid a power play.

This paved the way for Mr Muhyiddin to become prime minister with the support of Najib's United Malays National Organisation party, sparking concern his trials and others linked to the 1MDB scandal could be affected.

Malaysia has not given an estimate of how much money was stolen from 1MDB.

But the US Department of Justice, which is investigating the theft due to claims that money was laundered through the American financial system, believes US$4.5 billion was siphoned off. - AFP