Singapore Freezes Accounts Linked to Malaysia Premier

Singapore Freezes Accounts Linked to Malaysia PremierSingapore Freezes Accounts Linked to Malaysia Premier

Police in Singapore have frozen two bank accounts as part of an investigation into alleged money laundering at Malaysia’s troubled state fund 1MDB. It is alleged the fund funneled millions of dollars to the premier.

Singapore police said in a statement on Wednesday they had taken the step on July 15 to “prohibit any dealings in respect of money in two bank accounts that are relevant to the investigation,” DW reported.

The investment fund has faced criticism over allegations of financial mismanagement and its debt of around $11.09 billion. Embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak chairs the fund’s advisory board.

It is the first time accounts outside of Malaysia have been frozen in connection to the probe into corruption at the state-run development firm, 1Malaysia Development Berhad. Authorities declined to identify the banks or the accounts in question because the investigation is ongoing.

Citing documents from a government probe, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that some $700 million had been wired to Najib’s personal accounts through various entities linked to 1MDB. According to the report, there had been several deposits moving through Singapore’s Falcon Bank into Najib’s accounts in Malaysia, with the largest transactions carried out in March 2013 during an election campaign.

Najib, who took office in 2009, has denied the accusations of money laundering, dismissing them as part of a malicious campaign to bring down his leadership. Two opposition parties have called on the prime minister to take a leave of absence while the allegations are investigated.