Malaysia Task Force to Freeze Bank Accounts in Najib Money Probe

By Niluksi Koswanage

(Bloomberg) – A Malaysian task force has ordered a freeze on six bank accounts believed linked to a money trail that allegedly showed funds from a state investment company ending up in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal accounts.

The team obtained documents related to 17 accounts from two banks, the attorney general’s office said in a statement issued jointly with the central bank, police and anti-corruption commission. The statement did not give further details of the bank accounts to be frozen.

“The investigation is ongoing,” the task force said. “We appeal to everyone to give their fullest cooperation to complete this investigation.”

About $700 million may have moved through government agencies and companies linked to debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd. before apparently appearing in Najib’s personal accounts, the Wall Street Journal reported on July 3, citing documents from a government probe.

The task force conducted raids the same day on the premises of three companies linked to the funds, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail said at the time.

Najib has called the claims part of a campaign of political sabotage aimed at ousting him.

The government ordered the Auditor-General to verify 1MDB’s accounts in March and Najib asked investigators to expedite the process in May. The Auditor-General said last week it completed an interim report and will submit it on July 9 to a parliamentary committee that’s also probing 1MDB.