According to a press release by Singapore’s central bank Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), more Singapore bank accounts have been flagged by the Malaysia authorities for involvement with money laundering stolen Malaysian state funds 1MDB.
The Managing Director of MAS, Ravi Menon, told state media reporters Singapore now has to re-open the investigation despite having concluded it last year (May 2017):
“We are still looking at individuals and there are others we are looking forward to interview. While supervisory reviews of the banks have concluded, the MAS will be open to a re-look if new evidence surface. But so far, that hasn’t been the case. We’re looking very closely at new information that’s emerging from Malaysia and other places to see if any action on our part is warranted. But the investigations into individuals continue.”
Earlier last month (June 1), the Singapore government was called up by Malaysia for investigations over 1MDB. Nine high-ranking officials from the Attorney General Chambers, MAS and the Singapore Police were questioned over in Malaysia Kuala Lumpur.
Ravi Menon tried to play down the Malaysian investigation, saying that there has been “exchange of information” when the Singapore government is actually under investigation.
“There’ve been very good exchange of information, very fruitful meetings and we will continue to cooperate with them.”
Based off investigation findings from the United States’ Department of Justice (DOJ), the Singapore government had to prosecute eight local banks. Among the banks involved include Temasek Holdings-owned banks like DBS, Standard Chartered and UOB. At least S$240 million from the Malaysian state fund 1MDB was laundered in Singapore over 5 years from 2009 to 2015, which the Singapore government claimed they are unaware of the multi-million transactions.
Just yesterday (Jul 4), former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was officially arrested. Najib Razak was a friend of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, but the relationship soured after the former lost his election.