Here on the blog we've discussed the 1MDB scandal before before in Malaysia. First reported on in 2015, the scandal involves some US $4.5 billion that was allegedly misappropriated from a government-owned fund.
Recently there have been some new developments in the case. As a result of investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MAAC), on May 19, 2018 police forces conducted raids on more than ten apartments associated with the former Prime Minister Najib Razak, as well as several apartments occupied by his children. Malaysian authorities reportedly seized nearly US $29 million in cash from Razak, who had been under investigation by the MAAC since 2015 for allegedly stealing nearly US $700 million from 1MDB. The cash seized by officials was reportedly composed of 26 different currencies. Officials reportedly also seized over 280 boxes containing designer handbags, watches, and jewelry.
Razak reportedly justified the cash as donations from friends intended for an election campaign by the Barisan Nacional political party. In order for authorities to verify whether or not the alleged donations are legitimate, Razak will be required to declare each of the individual sources of the funding if he wants to prove that none of the payments were illicit or improper.
As the 1MDB scandal shows, anti-corruption investigations can take years to produce results and recovering funding is a complex issue. It is prudent to protect your business from corrupt and unlawful dealings through compliance and due diligence programs. Smith Brandon International has a wealth of experience in global corporate investigations that can help protect your business.