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Malaysia brings back old corruption fighters for new 1MDB task force

Malaysia has set up a special taskforce that will look into possible criminal conduct of individuals involved in the management of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the prime minister’s office said on Monday.

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia is bringing back former 1MDB investigators to head a task force focused on reviving probes into the troubled state investment company and recover assets lost due to wrongdoing.

The team will be led by former Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail and former anti-graft agency chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed, who both left their posts under Najib Razak’s government during the previous probe into 1MDB.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was elected just two weeks ago, is moving fast to root out corruption from his administration. He has prevented those linked to wrongdoing in state finances from leaving the country, drafted a wide scope of investigation into 1MDB, and is set to see the anti-graft agency begin questioning Najib on Tuesday, following several searches at the former premier’s residence. Najib has denied wrongdoing.

The police’s former special branch deputy director Abdul Hamid Bador and recently-appointed Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Mohd Shukri Abdull will also lead the group, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office.

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The task force will focus on tracking down embezzlement of any 1MDB funds by working with regulatory agencies in the US, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, and other related countries, according to the statement. The team will be responsible for prosecuting individuals involved in any wrongdoing in the management of the state fund, whose full name is 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Attorney-General’s Chambers, Royal Malaysia Police, and Bank Negara Malaysia will be members of the task force.