Washington DC [USA], April 15 (ANI): The US Department of Justice on Tuesday (local time) said it has repatriated approximately USD 300 million (RM 1.292 billion) to Malaysia in additional funds misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (MDB), the Asian country's investment development fund.
The government of former Prime Minister Najib Razak set up the 1MDB fund in 2009 to promote economic development in Malaysia through global partnerships and foreign direct investment.
The Justice Department estimated that some USD 4.5 billion was siphoned out of Malaysia by high-level fund officials and their associates between 2009 and 2014 in a scandal that called for Razak's resignation -- including Mahathir Mohamad, one of the former's predecessors.
The funds were laundered through financial institutions in several jurisdictions, including the United States, Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg.
"We are pleased to make this latest repatriation of an additional USD 300 million in stolen 1MDB funds," Assistant Attorney General Brian A Benczkowski of the Justice Department's Criminal Division said in a statement.
"The payment reflects the United States' continuing commitment to the Malaysian people to hunt down, seize, forfeit and return assets that were acquired in connection with this brazen scheme," Benczkowski added.
"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," said Chief Don Fort of IRS-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI).
According to some media reports, the Justice Department said last year that it had recovered USD 1 billion in assets associated with the corruption scandal, its largest-ever civil forfeiture. (ANI)