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$240m in assets seized

Probe into Malaysia's 1MDB

The authorities in Singapore have seized assets totalling $240 million as part of their probe into transactions linked to Malaysian state fund 1MDB.

About half the total belong to Malaysian billionaire Low Taek Jho and his immediate family, it was disclosed yesterday.

The Attorney-General's Chambers, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), the Singapore Police Force and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said this in a joint statement yesterday, in response to action taken by the US Justice Department to forfeit and recover more than US$1 billion (S$1.35b) in assets associated with an international conspiracy to launder funds related to 1MDB.

As part of the investigations, MAS said it found problems at three major banks - DBS Bank and the Singapore branches of UBS and Standard Chartered Bank - as well as capital market intermediaries and a remittance agent.

The statement said that Singapore's investigations began in March 2015 and are still in progress.

It said: "The fund flows being investigated include those connected with Good Star Limited (Seychelles), Aabar Investments PJS Limited (BVI), Aabar Investments PJS Limited (Seychelles) and Tanore Finance Corp (BVI).

"The criminal investigations by CAD are targeted at individuals suspected of committing offences in Singapore related to these flows, while MAS has been examining the financial institutions through which the funds flowed for possible regulatory breaches and control lapses."

The statement said that "appropriate actions" will be brought against those who have broken Singapore's laws.

MAS said its supervisory examinations of financial institutions with 1MDB-related fund flows have revealed "a complex international web of transactions involving multiple entities and individuals operating in several jurisdictions".

Certain financial institutions here were among those used as conduits for these transactions. MAS' examination of certain other institutions is ongoing.


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