Govt recovered RM925m funds linked to 1MDB, says finance minister

Efforts to recover the funds will continue to repay 1MDB’s debts amounting to RM51b, according to Lim

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / pic by TMR FILE

THE government has recovered funds worth RM925.1 million related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to date, from both local and foreign authorities.

In a recent statement, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the amount retrieved included funds received from Singapore amounting to RM92.3 million and the return of RM805.8 million from US authorities.

The latter comprised money from a stake sale in New York’s Park Lane Hotel and a settlement paid by the producer of “The Wolf of Wall Street” movie, Red Granite Pictures.

An additional RM27 million were recovered locally, Lim said, of which RM6.1 million were recouped from Yayasan 1MDB and RM20.9 million from the state fund.

“This is the result of concerted efforts carried out by the authorities, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Royal Malaysia Police, the Attorney General’s Chambers and cooperation with foreign authorities.

“Efforts to recover the funds will continue to repay 1MDB’s debts amounting to RM51 billion,” he said, adding that the amount included future interest payments guaranteed by the federal government.

Lim said the amount recovered did not include proceeds from the sale of superyacht Equanimity (now known as Tranquility) to Genting Malaysia Bhd, which will be deposited into the 1MDB recovery account next month.

Lim said the US$126 million (RM527.4 million) purchase price is currently kept in a sheriff stakeholders account to allow the legal team to gazette the receipt of payment for taxation of costs, and determination of priorities for payment out of the proceeds, as stipulated in the Orders of Court.

The amount recovered so far represents only a fraction of the US$7 billion misappropriated from 1MDB that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad hopes to repossess.

The MACC, which is spearheading efforts for Malaysia to recover assets linked to 1MDB, had previously estimated that there are US$5 billion worth of foreign assets tied to the controversial investment fund.

Malaysia is working with at least six countries to recover about US$4.5 billion, which the US Department of Justice said was stolen from 1MDB between 2009 and 2014.

The country has also filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs Group Inc for its role in raising money for 1MDB.

The investment bank, however, has consistently denied all allegations of misconduct. The government has said it is seeking up to US$7.5 billion in reparations from Goldman Sachs over its dealings with 1MDB.