AS U.S. GOVT REVEALS US$4.5BIL FOUND STOLEN FROM 1MDB SO FAR, IGP TRIES TO APPEASE OUTRAGED M’SIANS: AG WANTS COPS TO LOOK INTO ‘A FEW NEW AREAS’ – KHALID

POLICE have been instructed to look at “a few areas” in their investigation into state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd and claims  of misappropriation that allegedly financed an international spending spree of luxury assets, the Inspector-General of Police said today.

Saying that the investigations were ongoing, Khalid told The Malaysian Insight that they recently received fresh instructions from the Attorney-General’s Chambers on the case.

“He has instructed us to look into a few areas for our investigations. We will be looking into them,” Khalid said.

He said the probe began last year after the Auditor-General presented a report to the bipartisan parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Excerpts of that report were incorporated into PAC’s own findings, which were tabled in Parliament in April last year.

The audit report was later classified under the Official Secrets Act. Opposition MP Rafizi Ramli was charged and sentenced to 18 months’ jail for making public excerpts of the report.

1MDB, which is Prime Minister Najib Razak’s brainchild, has been at the centre of investigations in the US and several countries over allegations of misappropriation of funds and money-laundering.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) yesterday filed another suit to seize the assets it alleged were bought with money stolen from 1MDB.

The assets it targeted include rights to the film ‘Dumb and Dumber To’, produced Red Granite Pictures,  a firm co-founded by Riza Aziz, Najib’s stepson.

At the same time last year, US prosecutors filed civil asset-forfeiture suits against more than US$1 billion (RM4.28 billion) worth of artworks, real estate and other assets of similar provenance owned by several individuals.

“Today’s complaints reveal another chapter of this multi-year, multi-billion-dollar fraud scheme, bringing the total identified stolen proceeds to US$4.5 billion,” acting US Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said in a statement.

In an immediate response, Malaysia’s Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali described the DoJ’s latest suit as a repeat of last year’s US$1 billion suit, and expressed frustration that it was not alerted of this latest action.

He said his office has yet to be provided with proof that money had been siphoned from 1MDB.

Meanwhile, Putrajaya in a statement today said the latest DoJ suits were “unproven allegations”.

The Prime Minister’s Office also responded by saying the unnecessary and gratuitous naming of certain matters and individuals by the DoJ would only open the door to domestic political manipulation and interference.

In a statement issued early today, the Prime Minister’s Office also noted its concern that there was a motivation that went beyond the objective of seizing assets in the DoJ’s latest filing.

THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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