Reports: US, Singapore to return to Malaysia nearly RM1b in funds linked to 1MDB scandal

The money returned from both the US and Singapore will amount to around US$226 million, or RM936 million. — Reuters pic
The money returned from both the US and Singapore will amount to around US$226 million, or RM936 million. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — United States authorities are working towards returning around US$200 million (RM828.4 million) of funds that was said to have been misappropriated from the scandal-plagued fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia, Bloomberg reported today.

Quoting anonymous sources, the financial news outlet said this would include US$140 million from selling a stake in New York’s Park Lane Hotel and around US$60 million from a settlement paid by the Wolf of Wall Street film’s producer.

In a separate report, Bloomberg said Singaporean authorities are also planning to return around S$35 million linked to 1MDB previously given up by former Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker Roger Ng and his family.

Quoting another set of anonymous sources, the report said a Singaporean court has in recent weeks cleared the hurdles for the repatriation of the funds.

In total, the money returned from both the US and Singapore will amount to around US$226 million, or RM936 million.

According to Bloomberg, the transfer from the US could happen as early as next week.

The US Justice Department, Singapore authorities, and Ng’s lawyer did not respond in time to verify the reports.

Authorities in at least six countries are investigating suspected money laundering and graft linked to 1MDB, set up in 2009 by the then Malaysian prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Najib, who lost power in a general election last year, is facing more than 40 criminal charges related to losses at 1MDB and other government entities. He has consistently denied wrongdoing.

Yesterday, the High Court ruled that Najib’s main 1MDB trial will kick off in three months.