MALAYSIA will claim 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) assets in the United States following a settlement by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) on the recovery of 1MDB assets.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said part of 1MDB money had been used by Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, to buy assets in America, estimated to be worth US$600 million.
“He (Jho Low) has now surrendered…not to contest against DoJ. Therefore, DoJ now holds and freezes the assets that were bought with Malaysian money.
“We had proof he (Jho Low) is using Malaysia’s money to buy the assets and we will now make a claim (over the IMDB assets) to the American government,” he told reporters after visiting the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (BSI) in Johor Baru today.
In a statement today, DoJ said it had reached a settlement to recover more than US$700 million worth of assets acquired by Jho Low, and his family using funds allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.
DoJ said the assets were located in the US, Britain and Switzerland.
Commenting on whether the prime minister is responsible for selling and disposing of government strategic assets, he said: “I am the chairman of Khazanah Nasional, so, in a way, I am involved.”
“We had to sell assets because the previous government lost a huge sum of money which we had to pay,” he said, adding that the government used proceeds from the sales to repay debts incurred by the previous administration.
Dr Mahathir said these assets were sold through a tender process and with good offers by bidders. – Bernama