KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has refuted allegation made by Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang in his letter to 154 Swiss members of Parliament (MPs) alleging that 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) assets have been misappropriated.
“1MDB has informed the MOF that any allegations of its assets being embezzled or misappropriated, either domestically or overseas, were simply not true and politically motivated,” it said.
The MOF issued the refutation in a statement today following reports that both Lim and Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had sent letters to Switzerland’s MPs to lobby for repatriation of 104 million Swiss francs (1 Swiss franc = RM4.13) retained by the country’s Financial Regulators (FINMA), which was allegedly linked to 1MDB.
It said FINMA was investigating various private banks in Switzerland following complaints that these banks were flaunting several Swiss money-laundering laws and illegally profiting from several banking transactions without carrying out adequate background checks.
“We were advised that the 104 million Swiss francs actually represent the total amount in fines or penalties imposed by FINMA on various private banks for violations of the Swiss finance and banking laws.
“Therefore, the 104 million Swiss francs are not monies belonging to the Malaysian government or any of its agencies or related companies,” said MOF.
The ministry said it was advised that various Swiss banks were disputing the fines and they had appealed to the Swiss Courts for the banks to be exonerated from any wrong doings.
“As the various checks and audits conducted by various Malaysian enforcement agencies have not shown or detected any missing funds from 1MDB, the ministry finds it difficult to take any position to make a claim from the Swiss government as the monies do not belong to the Malaysian public as alleged by Wan Azizah and Lim in their letters to the Swiss MPs,” it said. — Bernama