Explained: Malaysia’s 1MDB Scandal

1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is a state investment fund that came under investigation for a multibillion-dollar global corruption scandal.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) alleges US$4.5 billion was siphoned from 1MDB between 2009 and 2014. The scandal has been described as the world’s most extensive financial con.

Who are the central figures in the 1MDB scandal?

Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, is accused of masterminding the fraud. Low and two former Goldman Sachs bankers have been charged by the DOJ with money laundering in connection with misappropriation of 1MDB funds.

Low is wanted by several countries and subject to a global manhunt. He denies any wrongdoing and is widely speculated to be in China.

Disgraced former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak faces more than 40 counts of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power. Najib, who founded and chaired 1MDB, stands accused of diverting some US$700 million from SRC International – a former subsidiary of 1MDB – into his personal bank accounts.

Source: SCMP