KUALA LUMPUR: More than 50 people received money that can be traced to the billions of ringgit of 1MDB-linked funds that went into Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s bank account and political figures were among the recipients, says Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police revealed this at Bukit Aman, mere hours after Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was charged in court with money laundering yesterday.
The four charges against the senior lawyer relate to RM9.5mil that he received from Najib.
“We followed the money trail from the US$972mil (RM2.97bil) that had made its way into the bank account of the former prime minister through three phases from Good Star, Aabar and Tanore,” said Noor Rashid.
(Good Star, Aabar and Tanore are foreign companies that investigators say are part of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal.)
Noor Rashid said police had taken statements from 64 people in connection with the case and were expected to do the same with other individuals soon.
Noor Rashid declined to say if Muhammad Shafee was among those who had received part of the US$972mil.
“I put it this way: As you know, Tan Sri Shafee was charged this morning. I think you can well understand from the charges,” he said.
Noor Rashid also said the police had yet to receive any official claim from any party over the cash and items seized from premises connected to Najib.
“That said, there have been statements in the media over the cash seized. Because of these statements, we have served notices to several individuals under Section 32 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 to come in and have their statements taken over the matter,” he added.
Noor Rashid explained that the Act allowed the police to hold seized items for one year while conducting investigations.
“And not three months as claimed by Najib,” he said.
When asked, Noor Rashid said it was possible that some of the recipients of the money would be charged in court.
“I cannot estimate how far along we are in our investigations but I can say that the chances of completing our investigations are high and we are confident.
“It’s just a matter of time. It also depends on the other countries involved in our investigations,” he added.
On the investigations into the 1MDB case, Noor Rashid said the police were looking into the issuance of the RM5bil Islamic medium term notes by the Terengganu Investment Authority (which later became 1MDB) in 2009; the joint venture between 1MDB and PetroSaudi International and its loan through Murabaha notes; the issuance of notes worth US$3.5bil (RM14.5bil) for the acquisition of assets in the energy sector; and the issuance of notes worth RM3bil by 1MDB Global Investment Ltd for a joint-venture project with Aabar in the Tun Razak Exchange.
“We have also identified several individuals to be charged for offences, including criminal breach of trust by agent, criminal conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust, abetting in committing criminal breach of trust, and receiving stolen property.
“We also need to take statements from witnesses from abroad to complete our investigations,” Noor Rashid said, adding that they had applied to the Attorney General’s Chambers for mutual legal assistance in order to get these statements.