PM: Another RM1.3bil in 1MDB funds returned to Malaysia, RM2.38bil received from US govt to date

Putrajaya, 15 April 2020 -Malaysia has received another US$300mil (RM1.3bil) of 1MDB funds from the United States government, which makes it a total of US$620mil (RM2.38bil) returned to date. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this represents funds recovered from asset seizures related to 1MDB under the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

Muhyiddin said that on Oct 30 last year, fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, had reached a settlement with the DoJ pertaining to the numerous forfeiture claims it filed against assets he had purchased using 1MDB monies. “The US$300mil represents some of the assets which had been forfeited and later sold. It also includes proceeds from 1MDB-linked assets that were given up or forfeited by individuals linked to Jho Low.

“The government is pleased to share that so far, inclusive of this most recent tranche of US$300mil, a total of US$620mil (RM2.38bil) of 1MDB monies, in the form of sales of proceeds or assets, have been returned,” said the Prime Minister in a statement on Wednesday (April 15).

He said the process to sell Low’s remaining assets under the DoJ consent forfeiture judgement is ongoing.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the US government, particularly the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, on their excellent assistance and cooperation in facilitating the return of the US$300mil.

“I would also like to commend the Finance Minister and the Attorney General for their role in the negotiation process.

“1MDB asset recovery efforts are ongoing, and the government will continue to work with the Unites States, the DoJ and other governments to recover and repatriate more 1MDB monies in the future,” he said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Finance Minsitry said of the other US$320mil received previously, US$57mil were proceeds of a settlement with Red Granite Pictures while the other US$137mil was from the sale proceeds of Jho Low’s interest in the Park Lane Hotel and US$126mil from the judicial sale of the luxury yacht, Equanimity. These amounts were credited in March 2019, April 2019 and Dec 2019 respectively.

-The Star