By FARA AISYAH / Pic By TMR
1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has denied any connection to the 104 million Swiss franc (RM428.96 million) that is currently being held by the Swiss Federal Treasury.
A statement from the state-owned investment fund yesterday verified that neither 1MDB nor the government of Malaysia can claim the money as it does not belong to either party.
“This actually represents the amount ordered as disgorgement of profit, by the Swiss Financial Markets Authority (Finma), against certain banks, for alleged breach of Swiss laws.
“Therefore, the 104 million franc is a result of a fine by Finma on certain banks,” the statement by 1MDB read.
Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer said the relevant banks have disputed the actions of Finma and are appealing the action in the Federal Administration Court. Thus, the 104 million franc is being claimed by the relevant banks.
Finma itself has stated that only those “directly damaged” by the alleged actions of financial intermediaries in Switzerland are able to claim a share of any fine and that can only be done through a legal process.
1MDB had previously stated that it had not lost any money and that all its monies are fully accounted for.
Swiss lawmaker Carlo Sommaruga submitted Motion 17.3547 entitled “Repatriation of Corruption Funds to the Robbed Populations”, on June 16, 2017, to express in general terms, and mentions multiple companies and countries.
The Swiss Federal Council (equivalent of a Cabinet) then issued a detailed analysis of the motion on Aug 30, 2017, and the Swiss Cabinet proposed to reject the motion.
1MDB said there is no specific motion of the strategic development company or Malaysia. 1MDB made the statement in reference to the letters sent by Lim Kit Siang and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to members of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland in relation to a motion that is to be debated in the National Council (ie Lower House) of the Federal Assembly.
Lim said in a media statement on March 11, 2018, that it would be most inappropriate to return the stolen 1MDB monies to the government of Malaysia, as it is directly involved with 1MDB.
“The RM430 million 1MDB- linked funds confiscated from Swiss banks and financial companies should be held in trust for the benefit of the people of Malaysia.
“It would also be most improper and morally indefensible for the Swiss government to keep these monies for its own use as it would set bad international precedent in an era to declare and combat corruption as an international crime,” Lim said.