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KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — Police confirmed today that Datuk Dr Tawfiq Ayman, the husband of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) ex-governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, is under investigation over the alleged receipt of 1MDB funds.
Bukit Aman’s Commercial Crimes Department chief, Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob, said Tawfiq was being investigated under Section (4)(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001.
However, he did not state when the probe into the funds held in Tawfiq’s account at a Singapore bank was initiated.
“Since this case involves taking statements from Malaysia and abroad, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) is taking follow-up action under the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act (2002) to obtain statements from those abroad.
“Therefore, the police would like to advise the public to not make any statements or speculations via any platforms, until police investigations are completed, and then referred to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) for a decision,” Zainuddin added.
Last month, business daily The Edge reported that Singaporean police had informed BNM of suspicious transactions involving a company owned by Zeti’s husband and son.
According to the report, the republic’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) shared this information with BNM in 2015 and 2016, when Zeti was still its governor.
The information shared with BNM at the time involved suspicious funds going into a UBS bank account under the name of Iron Rhapsody Ltd, which The Edge reported to be owned by one Dr Tawfiq Ayman (who shares the same name as Zeti’s husband) and another man believed to be her son and was not named in the report.
Citing documents shared by CAD, Iron Rhapsody received a total of RM66 million from five transactions from companies and bank accounts held by Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, the central figure in the 1MDB financial scandal.
The report added that the source of four transactions involved funds from Low and his supporters from the RM5 billion 1MDB/TIA (Terengganu Investment Authority) bonds that were arranged by Ambank in 2009.
The Edge said BNM responded to its queries but said it could not comment on them as it is “bound by the international protocol for sharing financial intelligence”.
The business paper added that Zeti did not respond when contacted.