Police were just giving excuses when they cited border closure for the delay in the investigation of corruption allegations against Tawfiq Ayman, says former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan.
Tawfiq, the husband of former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, is being investigated over claims of receiving funds linked to 1MDB.
Musa stressed that police had good relationship with their counterparts in Singapore who could help them with the investigation.
“Although the police cannot cross the border, they can ask for cooperation from the Singaporean police,” he told FMT.
“During my tenure, I always asked them to help us. There was no problem. I believe their commissioner of police would be willing to help.”
He said that even if police were allowed to enter Singapore, they would still need cooperation from their counterparts there.
“Border closure is just an excuse. Even if we go there, what power do we have to investigate? We still need cooperation from them.
On Tuesday, deputy law minister Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said the police were supposed to continue with the investigation against Tawfiq in Singapore but were unable to do so because the border had been closed.
Meanwhile, Bukit Aman Commercial CID Department director Mohd Kamarudin Md Din said the police are tracking and identifying several documents as well as witnesses who are abroad to assist in the investigation.
He said police had contacted the countries involved and have not received the required response.
“The investigation paper (on Tawfiq) has been wrapped up and would be submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for further action, but we have received orders to obtain the documents and witnesses involved,” he said in a media conference today.
According to Kamarudin, the police could not arbitrarily obtain the statements of witnesses and related documents and have to wait for the green light from the countries involved.
Earlier, the media reported that Tawfiq, via legal firm Tetuan Jagjit, Ariff & Co, had issued a statement to clarify he had not received any form of bribes from anybody.
The statement was made when former Goldman Sachs banker, Tim Leissner was testifying in the trial against his former officer Roger Ng at the High Court in Brooklyn, New York, recently.
Leissner was reported to have mentioned the involvement of Tawfiq in the corruption of the joined project between PetroSaudi and 1MDB during the current trial.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had earlier reported that at least RM65 million linked to 1MDB funds was withdrawn from Singapore and was kept in a company owned by Tawfiq.
In March last year, it was reported that police had begun investigations into 1MDB-linked funds allegedly transferred to a bank account that Tawfiq owned in Singapore.
Singapore police were reported to have informed BNM of suspicious transactions in 2015 and 2016 involving a company owned by Zeti’s husband and one of her sons.