Return stolen 1MDB funds from frozen accounts or face legal action, warns MACC chief

KUALA LUMPUR, 3 July — Chief of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Mohd Shukri Abdull warned beneficiaries of the stolen state funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to either voluntarily return the sums that are currently frozen in their accounts to the MACC, or to face legal action instead. 

Shukri, who is also a member of the 1MDB investigative taskforce, also said no notice was issued to the beneficiaries before their accounts were frozen, as the special taskforce’s ongoing investigations on 1MDB.

He explained that had the beneficiaries been informed that their accounts will be frozen, they would then have ample time to transfer the money out of the accounts elsewhere.

“All the accounts that we froze, we have detailed evidence of the money coming from 1MDB,” Shukri said.

Speaking at a press conference in Petaling Jaya after a book launch authored by Transparency-International Malaysia president Akhbar Satar, he said that “If we did give notice, then where is the element of surprise?” 

He then urged all of individuals or parties involved whose accounts had been frozen to meet with the MACC and arrange for the return of the funds.

“I urge all the account owners to come forward and voluntarily return the funds. If they refuse, we will take action under the law.

The taskforce promises to return it to the rakyat (citizens) through legal and judicial means.

“We can apply to the court to forfeit their rights to the money,” he explained.

A task force investigating the 1MDB scandal announced on Jul 2 that it had frozen 408 bank accounts, involving funds of about RM1.1 billion (S$372 million), as a part of its probe.