Two individuals wanted by Bank Negara in relation to the 1MDB scandal are no longer under the central bank’s observation, the Finance Ministry said.
The Finance Ministry said investigations against former 1MDB officers Jasmine Loo and Casey Tang have been concluded, and based on the outcome, a fine had been issued to 1MDB for failing to adhere to the Financial Services Act 2013.
“1MDB has already paid the fine in full. As such, both individuals are no longer under BNM’s ‘pemantauan’ (observation) unless there is new information regarding the breaking of laws under BNM’s purview,” the ministry said in a written parliamentary reply yesterday.
Bank Negara had fined 1MDB an undisclosed amount last year, for non compliance with the Financial Services Act 2013.
This marked the end of the central bank’s probe on 1MDB.
The finance ministry was responding to a question from Wong Chen (PKR-Kelana Jaya) on whether Loo and Tang were still under the central bank’s wanted list.
Wong in a press conference today, interpreted the reply to mean that both were no longer wanted by Bank Negara.
This is despite a check on the central bank’s watch list, still listing Loo and Tang as wanted for investigations under the Exchange Control Act 1953.
Tang and Loo are believed to be the 1MDB Officer 1 and 1MDB Officer 3 respectively, listed in the US Department of Justice’s civil forfeiture suits on misappropriated 1MDB funds.
“It is now clear that these two individuals… are no longer persons of interest in Malaysia,” Wong said.
He expressed disappointment with the reply, which among others did not state whether Bank Negara had ever questioned either of the two individuals.
In his question for the Finance Minister, the PKR lawmaker had also asked whether the government was working with the Immigration Department to contact Tang and Loo, which went unanswered.
Tang was 1MDB’s executive director from the time it was still known as the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA).
The DOJ claimed that 1MDB Officer 1, whose description matches Tang had misled banks and concealed certain facts from 1MDB’s board of directors in order to transfer US$700 million to Good Star Ltd, which in turn is supposedly owned by Low.
Meanwhile Loo was 1MDB’s former general counsel and executive director of group strategy,
Her name had recently cropped up in a Singapore court case involving 1MDB, in the matter of four Falcon Bank accounts opened by Penang-born tycoon Jho Low.
The Singapore Attorney-General’s Chambers in a statement on the trial of former Falcon Private Bank Singapore branch manager Jens Fred Sturzenegger, highlighted a conversation he had with Low on March 19, 2013 appointing Loo as a signatory for accounts the latter had opened under the alias Eric Tan.
The Singapore AGC did not state if the move to make Loo a signatory went through.
However, the DOJ in its 1MDB-linked civil forfeiture suits, noted that a “1MDB Officer 3” was made an authorised signatory of the Tanore account at Falcon Private Bank.
The Tanore account was alleged to be the origin of US$681 million deposited into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s personal bank accounts.
The prime minister claimed the sum was a donation from a member of the Saudi Arabia royal family.