Arab Today, arab today singapore freezes accounts linked to probe of malaysias 1mdb
Last Updated : GMT 10:07:28
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Singapore freezes accounts linked to probe of Malaysia's 1MDB

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Arab Today, arab today Singapore freezes accounts linked to probe of Malaysia's 1MDB

Prime Minister Najib Razak
Singapore - AFP

Singapore police on Wednesday confirmed they had frozen two bank accounts as part of an investigation into possible money-laundering offences related to troubled Malaysian state investment firm 1MDB. The company is under investigation by Malaysian authorities following reports of irregularities including fund transfers allegedly involving Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has strongly denied any wrongdoing. "We understand that the Malaysian authorities have launched investigations into certain matters related to 1MDB," the Singapore Police Force (SPF), which has a unit dealing with financial crime, said in a statement sent to AFP. "Singapore will continue to provide our full assistance and share information with the relevant authorities in Malaysia, within the ambit of our laws and international obligations." The SPF said it was conducting an "investigation into possible money-laundering offences". The PSF said on July 15 it "issued orders under the Criminal Procedure Code to prohibit any dealings in respect of money in two bank accounts that are relevant to the investigation". It did not identify the bank accounts and said it would not provide further details as investigations were ongoing. The Wall Street Journal reported on July 3 that investigators had discovered nearly $700 million had moved through government agencies, banks and companies linked to 1MDB before ending up in Najib's personal accounts. Najib dismissed the report as "political sabotage" and threatened legal action, while 1MDB said it had not transferred any funds to the Malaysian premier, who is also the finance minister. A special task force in Malaysia set up to probe the money transfers has frozen six bank accounts. It said none of them belonged to Najib. Facing intense pressure to reveal the whereabouts of allegedly missing 1MDB money, Najib said in March that about $1.1 billion of its funds had been transferred from the Cayman Islands to an account with Swiss private bank BSI in Singapore. Critics, however, have accused Najib's administration of conflicting statements on the nature of those funds and failing to provide full details on the account. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-state's central bank, said this month it was providing assistance to Malaysian authorities in their investigation. The MAS noted that financial institutions in Singapore "are required to conduct rigorous customer due diligence, regular account reviews, and to monitor for and report any suspicious transactions." It warned it "will not hesitate to take any action if there are regulatory breaches". Singapore is Southeast Asia's leading financial centre. It is home to over 200 banks handling assets worth almost two trillion US dollars as of December 2013, according to the MAS website.

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