Finance Ministry: Goldman Sachs settlement over role in 1MDB scandal ‘represents assets that rightfully belong to Malaysian people’

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said he was glad the case was resolved without initiating any lengthy and costly legal process, adding both parties agreeing to a settlement also meant the return of the monies can be expedited. — Bernama pic
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said he was glad the case was resolved without initiating any lengthy and costly legal process, adding both parties agreeing to a settlement also meant the return of the monies can be expedited. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — The Ministry of Finance officially announced today that a settlement amounting to a whopping US$3.9 billion (RM16.6 billion) has been agreed with Goldman Sachs for its involvement in the arrangement of three bonds for 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

A statement by the ministry today said that in total, including the assets and monies already received from the US Department of Justice, the amount of recovered funds to be repatriated now stands at US$4.5 billion (RM19.1 billion)

“The settlement includes a cash payment of US$2.5 billion (RM10.6 billion) and a guarantee of a full recovery value of at least US$1.4 billion (RM5.9 billion) in assets that are traceable to the diverted proceeds from the three bond transactions,” read the statement.

The statement pointed out how the settlement with Goldman Sachs would not affect the country’s claims against fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, and other parties related to the 1MDB scandal.

The ministry added that the settlement also represents acknowledgement on the part of Goldman Sachs for the misconduct of two of its former employees involved in the financial scandal.

It also said that the agreed settlement amount was significantly higher than the US$1.75 billion (RM7.4 billion) that was previously offered to Malaysia under the Pakatan Harapan administration back in 2019.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said he was glad the case was resolved without initiating any lengthy and costly legal process, adding both parties agreeing to a settlement also meant the return of the monies can be expedited and would not be held up by legal formalities.

“This settlement represents assets that rightfully belong to the Malaysian people.

“We are confident that we are securing more money from Goldman Sachs compared to previous attempts, which were far below expectations.

“We are also glad to be able to resolve this outside the court system, which would have cost a lot of time, money and resources,” said the minister.

As part of the settlement, Goldman Sachs had also agreed to assist the government by appointing an asset recovery specialist aimed at recovering assets currently outside Malaysia, with them bearing all the costs.

This comes as reports earlier today, citing sources, had claimed a settlement had been met between the investment bank and the Malaysian government, where Reuters had reported that settlement talks that restarted this week and only concluded today.

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