1MDB case: Swiss investigation extended

(Last modification 12.04.2016)

Berne, 12.04.2016 - As part of the criminal proceedings into allegations of embezzlement involving the Malaysian sovereign fund 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad), the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has extended its proceedings to include two former officials from the United Arab Emirates, who were in charge of Abu Dhabi sovereign funds. The OAG has also sent two requests for mutual legal assistance to Luxembourg and Singapore.

The two former Emirati officials are under investigation for fraud (Art. 146 Swiss Criminal Code (SCC)), criminal mismanagement (Art. 158 SCC), misconduct in public office (Art. 314 SCC), forgery of a document (Art. 251 SCC), bribery of foreign public officials (Art. 322septies SCC) and money laundering (Art. 305bis SCC). The extension of the criminal proceedings took place as part of the Genting / Tanjong chapter, one of the four main chapters in the Swiss investigation opened on 14 August 2015 (see OAG's press release of 29 January 2016). 1MDB subsidiaries issued two series of bonds to finance investments in electricity power plants. This chapter of the proceedings covers the circumstances in which these subsidiaries obtained the guarantee to repay these bonds from an Abu Dhabi sovereign fund.

The Swiss authorities have evidence that the amounts paid in connection with this guarantee were not returned to the Abu Dhabi sovereign fund that was bearing the commercial risk. Instead these sums were apparently paid to third parties, in particular the two public officials concerned and a company connected with to the film industry. A former 1MDB official, already a suspect in the Swiss proceedings, also received a share of the money.

As part of the Swiss criminal proceedings, and in particular this new avenue of enquiry, the OAG has filed two new requests for mutual legal assistance, to Luxembourg and Singapore. The OAG is thus working with its international partners to establish the facts.

As is always the case, the presumption of innocence applies to the two Emirati public officials and to other suspects in this case.

Address for enquiries

André Marty, Head of Communication & Public Affairs of the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, +41 58 464 32 40; info@ba.admin.ch


Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland