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Switzerland says Najib not a target in 1MDB probe

AFP  |  Kuala Lumpur 

A Swiss probe into bribery and fraud centred on Malaysian state fund is investigating six people, but former is not one of them, the country's said today.

The haven is looking into claims its financial system was used to launder money siphoned off from the multi-billion dollar fund, which investigators say was raided to buy everything from US to artworks.

A total of USD 4.5 billion was misappropriated by high-level officials of and their associates, according to civil lawsuits filed by the

Najib, who set up in 2009 and served as chairman of its advisory board, was charged in last week with corruption linked to the scandal.

He denied all four charges and is currently on bail.

Shortly after he was booted from office in May, raids on properties linked to Najib and his family netted USD 273 million dollars' worth of cash, jewellery and luxury handbags.

"At this stage of the proceedings, six persons are under investigation and two banks are suspected of involvement," the said today.

"Mr. Najib Razak, the former prime minister, is not one of the public officials under accusation," the statement added.

The statement came following a meeting between visiting Swiss and his Malaysian counterpart

Lauber's office said he and Thomas "discussed the coordination of the investigation into the 1MDB case" and that its probe was focusing on the use of financing obtained by 1MDB and a former unit called SRC.

"All or part of the financing obtained is alleged to have been used for other purposes, most particularly for the personal enrichment of the persons involved," the statement said.

Speaking to reporters separately, Lauber said USD 7.0 billion flowed through the global financial system from 1MDB and SRC.

Last year, Lauber lamented that Malaysian authorities during Najib's rule had refused to cooperate with his years-old inquiry.

Malaysia's newly elected has promised to investigate the 1MDB scandal and take legal action against those involved in the fraud.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 18:45 IST