If people do not return the funds voluntarily, action against them under the law will be taken.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is calling upon holders of 408 bank accounts which were frozen as allegedly linked to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), to voluntarily surrender the funds.
MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull said the account holders are required to come forward to meet investigators at the soonest before legal action is taken against them.
“We in the 1MDB Special Task Force called this money as illegal money because the money belongs to the rakyat and 1MDB.
“If they know their bank account is blocked by the 1MDB Special Task Force or MACC, please come to us (MACC), we will negotiate on how to complete the investigation.
“If they come to meet us, we will show them the evidence and documentation of them receiving such funds. We want the account holders to willingly give back the money, if not, we will take legal action to recover the money,” he told reporters yesterday.
“The 1MDB Special Task Force has promised to return the money, even a single sen that is suspected to be illegally taken from 1MDB,” he added.
Shukri said there is the possibility more accounts will be traced and frozen, including oversea accounts.
“The amount (RM1.1 billion) is as of now, probably later or tomorrow it (the amount) will increase,” he said.
Furthermore, he said MACC is not required to notify the account holders to freeze his or her account if it is suspected to be related to the 1MDB probe.
“When we (MACC) examine the documents and the money (related to 1MDB) is suspected to go into few bank accounts, we don’t need to notify the owner (account holders).
“Where is the element of surprise, if we notify them? Investigations need to be with surprise,” he said.
The 1MDB Special Task Force had frozen 408 bank accounts of individuals, political parties and non-government organisations (NGOs) worth RM1.1 billion on June 26 and June 29.
In a statement on Mon (July 2), the task force said the frozen accounts involved 81 individuals and 55 companies believed to have received funds from 1MDB.
“These accounts are believed to be linked to the money laundering and misappropriation of 1MDB funds. It involved nearly 900 transactions made between March 2011 and September 2015,” it added.
On June 29, the New Straits Times, quoting sources, said the MACC had frozen about 900 accounts linked to 1MDB. Newly-elected Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was also reported as saying Umno had found the bank accounts of the party’s headquarters and Selangor branch, frozen.
1MDB Special Task Force added it is currently conducting an investigation to identify the level of involvement of the parties involved.
The task force also urged all parties involved to fully cooperate with ongoing investigations.
The task force is led by Shukri, former attorney-general Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, former MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed and Special Branch chief Datuk Abdul Hamid Bador. – The Edge Markets