Report: Foreign authorities investigating 1MDB’s 2012 bond issue

Foreign investigators are examining the US$3.5 billion (RM13.6 billion) bonds issued by Goldman Sachs for 1MDB four years ago. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Foreign investigators are examining the US$3.5 billion (RM13.6 billion) bonds issued by Goldman Sachs for 1MDB four years ago. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — Investigators in several countries are examining the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) bonds issued by Goldman Sachs that is currently the subject of a US probe, according to a media report.

The US-based Wall Street Journal today said the latest investigation launched in Luxembourg joins two similar investigations in the UAE and Switzerland into the same subject: the US$3.5 billion (RM13.6 billion) bonds issued by the US bank for 1MDB four years ago.

When announcing its investigations this week, the Luxembourg state prosecutor said it detected indications of misappropriation in 1MDB-linked funds that were also related to a similar case being investigated in neighbouring Switzerland.

“Authorities in the UAE have frozen the personal assets of and issued travel bans to two former executives of an Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund that had extensive dealings with the Malaysian fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd, known as 1MDB, the people said,” the WSJ reported.

“Separately, the Luxembourg unit of Edmond de Rothschild Group, a private bank that manages money on behalf of wealthy clients, said it is ‘cooperating’ with a government probe into money that may have flowed from 1MDB.”

According to the WSJ, central to the investigation is the bond issued by Goldman for 1MDB in 2012.

US Department of Justice personnel were reportedly in Malaysia recently to obtain information from Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan for their investigation on the matter.

It was previously reported that the US is checking whether Goldman misled bondholders when it sold the securities issued by 1MDB.

The bond sold by Goldman also previously drew criticism from opposition lawmakers here, who questioned why the bank was paid a commission of over 9 per cent of the bond’s value for arranging the issue.

1MDB has said that it was not contacted by any foreign country reportedly investigating the Malaysian firm, but expressed its willingness to cooperate with any lawful authorities.

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