Malaysia’s 1MDB economic development fund was used as a Ponzi scheme by a clutch of conspirators to pay bribes and enrich themselves, Switzerland’s top prosecutor said days after former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was charged with corruption for his role in the affair.
Swiss authorities are now investigating six people for their alleged involvement in the multi-billion dollar 1MDB scandal and two Swiss banks — Falcon Private Bank and BSI SA — remain under suspicion, Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber told reporters Tuesday in Putrajaya following a meeting with his Malaysian counterpart Tommy Thomas.
Switzerland has been investigating how billions of dollars earmarked for economic development through 1Malaysia Development Bhd. was diverted and made its way into Swiss banks for the personal enrichment of the accused. Lauber, working with Singaporean and U.S. authorities, had been publicly critical in the past of Malaysian officials for their lack of cooperation. After Najib lost his bid for re-election in mid-May to rival and former premier Mahathir Mohamad, the new government said it would reopen a graft probe.