Malaysia's attorney general denies new task force is to investigate 1MDB

Malaysia`s attorney general has denied reports that a new task force would be investigating troubled state fund 1MDB, saying the new body was just a "rebranding" of an existing team that focuses on crimes such as tax evasion and illegal fund flows.

Reuters| Last Updated: Aug 25, 2015, 14:37 PM IST

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia`s attorney general has denied reports that a new task force would be investigating troubled state fund 1MDB, saying the new body was just a "rebranding" of an existing team that focuses on crimes such as tax evasion and illegal fund flows.

1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), whose advisory board is chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been dogged by controversy over its $11 billion in debt and is the subject of multiple investigations amid allegations of financial mismanagement and graft.

Local media said last week a new task force would look into 1MDB and would exclude the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which has been carrying out its own investigation. 

But the attorney general`s office said in a statement that the rebranded National Revenue Recovery Enforcement Team, which includes staff from the MACC, was "not in any way involved with any investigations involving 1MDB and its related companies".

The Wall Street Journal reported in July that investigators looking into 1MDB had found that about $670 million was deposited into Najib`s private bank account. Reuters has not verified the report.

Najib has denied taking any money for personal gain said the allegations are part of a malicious campaign to force him out of office. 

Malaysia`s anti-graft agency has since said the funds were a donation from the Middle East.

Malaysia`s central bank has completed an investigation into 1MDB but declined to disclose details.

Switzerland`s Office of the Attorney General said on Friday it has opened criminal proceedings against two entities of 1MDB as well as against an unknown person. 1MDB said on Sunday it has not been contacted by Swiss authorities.