Motorcyclists pass a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Photo: Reuters)
Hanoi (VNA) – Malaysian Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng wants Goldman Sachs to pay 7.5 billion USD in reparations over its dealings with scandal-hit state fund 1MDB, a report said on December 21.
Lim told the Financial Times that Goldman should return 6.5 billion USD, which is the sum of three 1MDB bond issues arranged by Goldman in 2012 and 2013, plus 1 billion USD, to cover fees they earned plus interest payments on the bonds.
In a response to Lim’s comments, Goldman noted that a huge portion of money raised in the bond issues was “stolen for the benefit of members of the Malaysian government and their associates”, the Financial Times reported.
Billions of dollars were purportedly stolen from the fund and used to buy everything from yachts to artwork, in an audacious fraud that allegedly involved former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and contributed to his government’s shock defeat in May elections.
Malaysia this week filed criminal charges against the bank and two of its former employees, alleging they took part in a scheme to steal huge sums while raising cash for the fund.
Malaysian Attorney General Tommy Thomas said criminal charges under the country’s securities laws were filed on December 17 against Goldman Sachs, its former bankers Tim Leissner and Ng Chong Hwa, former 1MDB employee Jasmine Loo and financier Low Taek Jho in connection with the bond offerings.
According to the Attorney, the charges arise from the commission and abetment of false or misleading statements by all the accused in order to dishonestly misappropriate 2.7 billion USD from the proceeds of three bonds issued by the subsidiaries of 1MDB, which were arranged and underwritten by Goldman Sachs.
Goldman has previously said it will fight the charges brought against it by Malaysian authorities and that members of the former government in Kuala Lumpur and 1MDB employees lied to the bank.
Ng appeared before a Kuala Lumpur court on December 19 and pleaded not guilty. He has also been indicted in the US, and American officials are seeking his extradition. Meanwhile, Leissner has been indicted in the US and has pleaded guilty.
Then Prime Minister Najib Razak founded the 1MDB investment fund in 2009, supposedly to serve Malaysia’s development through global partnerships and foreign direct investment.
However, it became the centre of a money laundering scandal, allegedly causing losses of billions of USD and leading to probes into the financial markets in several countries such as the US, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia and China.
After assuming power, Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad declared to give priority to addressing corruption and taking back losses of the fund. The Malaysian government has set up a task force to look into the scandal with help from the US, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada and other countries.-VNA