Categories: NewsWorld

US returns US$156m misappropriated 1MDB funds to Malaysia

The US Justice Department said it returned an additional $156 million in misappropriated 1MDB funds to Malaysia, a month after the Southeast Asian nation sought extra compensation from US authorities.

That brings the total amount the DOJ has repatriated to Malaysia to about $1.4 billion, according to a statement on the department’s website late Thursday. Malaysia in May said it was entitled to additional funds from US authorities after the latter formally ended their criminal case with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for its role in the 1MDB scandal.

Looting of the 1MDB investment fund by officials in Malaysia after Goldman helped it raise money spawned a multibillion-dollar scandal and probes across continents. Funds that 1MDB held, as well as proceeds of bonds issued for and on behalf of it, were spent on a variety of extravagant items including luxury homes, a superyacht, and fine art by Monet and Van Gogh, according to the DOJ.

The DOJ has seized $1.7 billion in stolen assets linked to 1MDB since 2016, and continues to litigate actions against additional assets allegedly linked to the scheme, it said Thursday. Malaysia had previously criticized the US efforts, saying the amount recovered and repatriated was far less than the total $4.5 billion misappropriated.

1MDB has initiated lawsuits against multiple parties in recent months to claw back lost funds, including against the wife of jailed former prime minister Najib Razak. Malaysia is also seeking additional payments from Goldman, which reached a deal with the country that eases the bank’s financial burden if missing funds are recouped. –BLOOMBERG

Dayang Norazhar

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