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1MDB: Bersih 2.0 calls for support in asset recovery effort

Source: theedgemarkets.com

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Bersih 2.0 congratulates the United States attorney general on his remarks at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery on 4 December 2017.

The forum is the first worldwide conference that focusses on returning stolen and laundered money to their countries of origin. It was held in Washington, DC, in December and hosted by the United Kingdom and the United States with support from the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative. Its inaugural meeting focused on assistance to four priority countries: Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Ukraine in their asset recovery.

Despite the heavy criticism by the US attorney general, Malaysia’s 1MDB corruption scandal is excluded from the GFAR’s list of priority countries. In his speech, the US attorney general highlighted that “in total, 1MDB officials allegedly laundered more than US$4.5bn in funds through a complex web of opaque transactions and fraudulent shell companies with bank accounts in countries ranging from Switzerland and Singapore to Luxembourg and the United States”.

Malaysians are extremely disturbed that money belonging to the people has been illicitly spent overseas on real estate, artwork, an expensive yacht and other lavish spending. Ironically, while it is ‘case closed’ for 1 MDB in Malaysia, this grand corruption has crossed international borders and is being investigated by seven countries.

Surprisingly, there is a pin-drop silence by the prime minister, cabinet ministers and the Ministry of Finance Inc. on the pointed allegations made by the US attorney general. The Malaysian authorities should demand an explanation.

The assertion by the US attorney general has given C4, Bersih 2.0 and 112 Malaysian NGOs much hope to push on with our asset recovery effort to claim the CHF104m (Swiss francs) that was stolen from 1MDB and has since been confiscated by the Swiss government.

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We reiterate our call to the international community to continue to support our asset recovery effort relating to the stolen 1MDB funds and for these assets to be returned as they are derived from what is rightfully the money of every Malaysian.

BersihH 2.0 steering committee

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