About $4bn (£2.8bn) may have been stolen from a fund owned by the Malaysian state, a prosecutor says. The 1MDB fund was set up in 2009 to pay for major new economic and social developments in Malaysia. Last year, Swiss authorities opened an investigation into 1MDB after it amassed more than $11bn (£7bn) of debt. Switzerland’s attorney general said on Friday there were “serious indications that funds have been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies”.
Some of the money, the office of Michael Lauber said, had been transferred to Swiss accounts held by Malaysian former public officials and current and former public officials from the United Arab Emirates. “To date, however, the Malaysian companies concerned have made no comment on the losses they are believed to have incurred,” the attorney general’s statement said (in German).
Mr Lauber called on Malaysian authorities to give full judicial assistance to their Swiss counterparts. A Swiss investigation into 1MDB was opened last year, citing “suspected corruption of public foreign officials, dishonest management of public interests and money laundering”. Malaysian officials and 1MDB have not commented on the latest allegations. Regulators in the US and Hong Kong are also reported to be investigating 1MDB. (BBC News, 2016)