The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched an investigation into allegations of money-laundering in relation to Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unidentified source.
The scope of the investigation into the debt-laden 1MDB was not clear, according to “a person familiar with the matter”.
Neither the FBI nor 1MDB responded to a request for comment, the report added.
A spokeswomen for the FBI’s New York Office, however, said no agent in the office had arranged to speak with Khairuddin Abu Hassan who had been detained in Malaysia last Friday on charged of attempting to undermine democracy.
Hassan had planned to travel to New York to urge US authorities to investigate transfers of $700 million funds into Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal accounts.
There are now several on-going international probes on entities related to 1MDB.
The international investigations center on entities related to 1MDB., which was set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to help drive the economy. The fund is dogged by controversies revolving around its hefty $11 billion debt and missing funds.
The Swiss attorney general’s office has opened criminal proceedings against two unidentified executives of 1MDB on suspicion of corruption and money-laundering. It has frozen tens of millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts, officials said in August.
Last week, 1MDB said in a statement that none of its executives or board members were the subject of criminal proceedings by the Swiss attorney general’s office, and that none of its accounts were frozen there.
WSJ also reported that authorities in Singapore also have frozen accounts linked to 1MDB and are investigating allegations related to the fund. 1MDB said none of its accounts were frozen and that it was ready to assist any investigations subject to advice from the appropriate Malaysian authorities.