Case closed on 1MDB, Bank Negara says despite Swiss BSI Bank probe

Newly-appointed BNM governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said the investigation on 1MDB was concluded after the firm paid a fine. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Newly-appointed BNM governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said the investigation on 1MDB was concluded after the firm paid a fine. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) announced today that its investigation on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was concluded when the firm paid a fine to it, despite Switzerland opening criminal proceedings against BSI Bank over links to the firm.

Newly-appointed BNM governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said, however, that BNM would continue to cooperate on the matter.

"As far as we are concerned, 1MDB has paid their compound and with that, that is the conclusion of our investigation within Bank Negara Malaysia's rules and regulations and the law that we administer," Muhammad told reporters at the sidelines of the 20th Malaysian Banking Summit here.

"There are other laws administered by other authorities," he added, when asked if BNM would reopen investigations on 1MDB in light of the Swiss authorities launching criminal proceedings against BSI Bank over money laundering allegations.

International news wire Reuters reported 1MDB as saying yesterday that it has made full payment of an administrative compound that BNM had issued against the state investment firm for failing to comply with local financial rules.

Swiss prosecutors announced Tuesday that criminal investigations have been opened against one of the country's oldest banks, BSI, based on information revealed in criminal proceedings related to 1MDB.

UK broadcaster BBC reported Switzerland's Office of the Attorney General as saying that it had information suggesting "the offences of money laundering and bribery of foreign public officials currently under investigation in the context of the 1MDB case could have been prevented" by BSI.

Singapore's financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, shut down BSI's Singapore branch over "serious breaches of money laundering requirements" on Tuesday.

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