US Department of Justice remits RM1.9b in seized 1MDB funds to Malaysian govt

KUALA LUMPUR (May 12): The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has remitted some RM1.9 billion or US$452.36 million in funds related to 1Malaysian Development Bhd (1MDB) into Malaysia’s Assets Recovery Trust Account.

In a statement, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said so far, the account has received RM16.05 billion of seized and repatriated 1MDB funds. The ministry added that any balance in the trust account, which is under the custody of the Accountant-General's Department of Malaysia, will be used to primarily repay and service 1MDB and its former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd’s remaining debts.

To date, the government has repaid RM12.4 billion of 1MDB’s debt and RM3.1 billion of SRC’s debt. The outstanding debt balance which is composed of principal and coupon, profit and interest of bonds, sukuk and term loans stands at RM39.8 billion for 1MDB and RM2.57 billion for SRC.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the current balance is sufficient to service 1MDB’s debt obligations for 2021 and 2022 only. He added that this balance excludes the RM2.83 billion that will be received from AmBank Group and RM336 million from Deloitte.

“Negotiations are also currently ongoing with KPMG. Once all recovered funds in the Trust Account have been utilised, the government will still have to continue bearing the burden of servicing 1MDB’s debt obligations, which were backed by the government’s guarantee and letter of support when these debts were created.

"This recovery would not have been achieved without the excellent cooperation between the government of Malaysia and the United States (US) government, particularly with the DoJ. On behalf of the government of Malaysia, we would like to thank the US government and look forward to the continued cooperation between us," he added.

“The government’s current recovery efforts are focused on parties who have caused losses to 1MDB and SRC during the execution of their duties, whether through direct or indirect involvement in 1MDB and SRC’s various operations and transactions, as well as those who have wrongfully received SRC monies disguised as CSR activities.

"All those involved will be made fully accountable for the wrongdoings caused to the country through their involvement in 1MDB and/or SRC,” the statement read.

It was reported on Monday (May 10) that 1MDB and SRC had filed 22 suits against several entities to recover a total of more than RM96.6 billion.

The writs filed by 1MDB are against a total of nine entities — including two foreign financial institutions — and 25 individuals for various wrongdoings including breach of contractual, statutory, common law and fiduciary duties; breach of trust; fraud; conspiracy to defraud; fraudulent misrepresentation; fraudulent breach of duties and trust; fraudulent concealment; fraudulent misappropriation; dishonest assistance in misappropriation of funds; negligence; knowing receipt; and unjust enrichment.

Meanwhile, the writs filed by SRC are against 15 individuals and eight entities for various wrongdoings including abuse of power, breach of fiduciary duties in public office, breach of trust, conspiracy, dishonest assistance, fraudulent breach of duties, knowing receipt, misfeasance and wrongful conversion.

The entities being sued include former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar, as well as former 1MDB chief executive officers (CEOs) Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and Arul Kanda Kandasamy, as well as foreign banks Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Coutts & Co.

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