Malaysia will cooperate with U.S. investigation of alleged fraud

LOS ANGELES, July 21 (UPI) — Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak has said his country will “fully cooperate” in the investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into accusations of fraud and money laundering by the Malaysian state fund.

U.S. prosecutors are trying to seize more than $1 billion from a fund — the 1MDB — set up by Razak. Malaysian police also are investigating the fund.

Prosecutors in Singapore, Switzerland, and Luxembourg also are investigating the fund, which is suspecting of paying for real estate, about $200 million in art and for paying off gambling debts of Malaysian officials, and their families and friends.

The premier has already been cleared of any wrongdoing by his attorney general, but associates are under investigation for using the money to pay for a lavish lifestyle.

“As the prime minister has always maintained, if any wrongdoing is proven, the law will be enforced without exception,” said Razak’s press secretary, ,Tengku Sariffuddin, in a statement.

The Justice Department made about a dozen filings in Los Angeles on Wednesday, alleging more than $3.5 billion was misappropriated from the fund, of which about $1 billion was laundered in the United States in a scheme that began in 2009.

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