News just in indicates that the United States and Singapore are working on modalities to have more than $200 million returned to Malaysia.
Bloomberg quotes sources as saying that the two countries are ready to complete the gesture as the millions were purportedly misappropriated from Malaysia’s 1MDB.
The funds from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) allegedly included about $140 million linked to a stake sold in the Park Lane Hotel. Another $60 million was misappropriated from a settlement involving a payment made by The Wolf of Wall Street producer.
Sources close to the matter reportedly told Bloomberg that the alleged funds will likely be sent to Malaysia by next week.
The ruling Pakatan Harapan alliance has over the last several months pleaded with several governments and nations, including Switzerland and Singapore, to help in efforts aimed at tracking funds amounting to over $4.5 billion.
The Malaysian government hopes these efforts will help it recoup most, if not all, of these billions. The money was allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB, a state investment firm.
Malaysian city and federal territory Putrajaya last month took steps to recover some of the money when it sold a yacht belonging to 1MDB mastermind Low Taek Jho. The Equanimity, a superyacht that was once the property of the now-wanted billionaire, was sold for $126 million.
Reports have also indicated that authorities in Singapore are willing to transfer over S$35 million (Singapore dollars) recovered from a former employee of Goldman Sachs Roger Ng. The ex-banker, as well as his family, was also heavily linked to the scandal.
In September last year, the Singapore State Courts sent S$15.3 million back to Malaysia. The money was said to have been stolen from 1Malaysia Development Bhd and from SRC International, the state investor’s former subsidiary.
The first actions against perpetrators of the 1MDB scandal came from Singapore’s Monetary Authority, the country’s financial regulator. The SMA took action against two private banks in 2016, shutting them down for their role in the massive misappropriation. Similarly, the regulator fined eight banks close to S$30 million in relation to the thefts.