WSJ is reporting that the FBI has opened an investigation into the development fund. Here’s more:
The FBI has opened an investigation into allegations of money-laundering related to a Malaysian state investment fund, a person familiar with the matter said.
The scope of the investigation wasn’t known. It is the latest in a series of international investigations related to the fund that have been revealed in the past several weeks.
The international investigations center on entities related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd., which was set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to help drive the economy. The fund is having difficulty repaying more than $11 billion of debt and is at the center of investigations that are destabilizing the government.
Late Friday, a former member of Malaysia’s ruling party who had raised questions about money transfers to the Malaysian prime minister was arrested on charges of attempting to undermine democracy, his lawyer Matthias Chang said.
The arrest of Khairuddin Abu Hassan, who remained in custody on Saturday, prevented him from traveling to New York where he planned to urge U.S. authorities to investigate the transfers, Mr. Chang said.
A spokeswoman for the FBI’s New York office said that no agent in the office had arranged to speak with Mr. Khairuddin or had any previous contact with him.
Two of the transfers were made through the Singapore branch of a Swiss private bank and routed via Wells Fargo & Co. Wells Fargo declined to comment.