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Malaysia won't press charges against those who return 1MDB money
[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia is taking a pragmatic approach to recoup funds lost through 1MDB, saying it won't press charges against those who return the money voluntarily.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has named 41 respondents in a forfeiture lawsuit to recover RM270 million (S$88.1 million) that originated from former Prime Minister Najib Razak's account, Chief Commissioner Latheefa Koya said in Kuala Lumpur. About RM2 million of that has been surrendered, she said on Friday.
The agency isn't ruling out any action against those who returned the money if they were later found to be involved in money laundering.
The Southeast Asian nation has recovered about RM919 million from 1MDB so far, including the return of funds from the US and Singapore, said Ms Latheefa, who was appointed June 1. The agency known as MACC will focus on onshore asset recovery, with global efforts overseen by another team, she said.
The globe-spanning 1MDB scandal has reached the highest levels of Malaysian politics and ensnared Goldman Sachs Group in its first criminal case. Najib is currently facing trial for the first set of 1MDB-linked charges against him.
The country is still seeking to recover US$5 billion in global assets thought to be lost through 1MDB, MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner Azam Baki said on Friday. That's more than the US$4.5 billion that US prosecutors estimated because of the inclusion of local transactions linked to SRC International Sdn and appreciation in asset value. Malaysia will name the members of the task force focused on the global asset recovery soon, he said.