US says returned more than RM720m in recovered 1MDB funds to Malaysia, RM6.6b recouped so far

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — The United States has returned approximately US$156 million (RM721.4 million) to Malaysia recovered from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund, its ambassador Edgard D. Kagan said today.

In a statement, Kagan said this is the fourth instalment of funds recovered through asset seizures related to the 1MDB scandal, and have returned US$1.4 billion (RM6.6 billion) so far.

“We are very happy that this fourth tranche of assets from the Justice Department investigation is being transferred back to Malaysia,” Kagan said in the release.

“This extraordinary sum of money is going back to the people of Malaysia where it belongs and where it can finally be used for its original intended purpose — to better the lives of everyday Malaysians.”

The statement said that Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, had received the funds during a meeting with Kagan on June 11.

These funds were returned following a remission petition submitted by the Malaysian government and approved by the US Department of Justice.

According to the petition, the conspiracy involved officials at 1MDB, their relatives, and associates who allegedly diverted more than US$4.5 billion from the fund.

The statement noted that co-conspirators allegedly laundered the money through complex transactions and shell companies with bank accounts in the US and abroad.

Fraudulent documents and representations were used to conceal the funds’ origin, source, and ownership, and the laundered money passed through US financial institutions and was used to acquire assets in the US and overseas.

"The United States government remains committed to recovering and returning additional funds stolen from 1MDB for the benefit of the Malaysian people," the statement added.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Anwar said during the meeting Kagan and him discussed strengthening Malaysia-US bilateral cooperation, particularly in trade and investment, as well as people-to-people relations.

Kagan previously stated that US-Malaysia economic relations were robust, with over RM150 billion in foreign direct investments since 2021. The United States remains a major investor in Malaysia.