1MDB remits US$350m to IPIC as part payment of settlement

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International Petroleum Investment Company PJSC (IPIC) confirmed that it has received payment from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Twenty months ago, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib was supremely confident that he had fixed up the 1MDB problem, and he even announced in the New Year Eve Message on December 31, 2015 that his RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion donation twin mega scandals had been resolved and were no more issues. "All funds paid to IPIC are from proceeds of the on-going rationalisation programme", it added.

Earlier this week, IPIC agreed to grant MoF Inc and 1MDB an extension till end of August to meet their payment obligation, subject to them making a minimum payment of US$310 million by Aug 12.

The payment comes as the United States intensifies a criminal investigation into money allegedly diverted from the state fund into luxury real estate, art and film productions.

USA law enforcement is intensifying a criminal investigation into a multi-billion dollar alleged fraud at Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MBD), Bloomberg reported Thursday.

"1MDB has now remitted, to date, the equivalent of US$350 million to IPIC".

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The news agency reported that the US Department of Justice had asked a judge in Los Angeles to temporarily halt civil forfeiture lawsuits launched by the department against people tied to the alleged scam, saying the cases could get in way of the burgeoning criminal investigation.

A total of US$602.73 million (RM2.56 billion), the first of a two-part payment, was due on July 31 under a debt-settlement agreement amounting to US$1.205 billion (RM5.16 billion) that was reached in April this year. Allegations of fraud involving 1MDB have already spooked investors by weighing on Malaysia's currency.

Several high-level officials and their associates are accused of having stolen more than $4.5 billion from 1MBD, a Malaysian state investment fund created by Prime Minister Najib.

Last year, Najib was cleared of any wrongdoing in the 1MDB scandal by Malaysia's Attorney- General.

The Malaysian leader admitted there were "lapses in governance" in the state fund, but maintained that government investigations found no wrongdoing, and that 1MDB is undergoing rationalisation to rid itself of its heavy debts.

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