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Singapore to return $11 million in 1MDB-linked funds to Malaysia

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By Reuters
Singapore to return $11 million in 1MDB-linked funds to Malaysia
FILE PHOTO: Traffic passes a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 6, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/File Photo   -   Copyright  Olivia Harris(Reuters)

KUALALUMPUR (Reuters) – A Singapore court ordered the return to Malaysia of about S$15.3 million ($11.1 million), just a small portion of total seized in the city state as part of a probe into transactions linked to scandal-hit state fund 1MDB, lawyers for the fund and the Malaysian government said on Monday.

Singapore is among at least six countries investigating claims that about $4.5 billion (3.5 billion pounds) was siphoned off from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a fund founded by former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

In 2016, Singapore authorities said they had seized S$240 million in cash and properties as a result of investigations into 1MDB-related fund flows through Singapore.

In May, Singapore and Malaysia agreed to cooperate on returning the funds to the Malaysian government, and the court order cleared the way for the first repatriation of funds from Singapore.

Tan, Rajah and Cheah, a Singapore-based law firm, said in a statement that the monies were recovered in various currencies from 1MDB and its former subsidiary, SRC International.

The funds will be transferred to a special 1MDB recovery account in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.

“Efforts to recover other unlawfully misappropriated assets are ongoing,” the firm said.

Singapore has taken action against several banks and bank officials for violating money-laundering controls over transactions related to 1MDB, including the closure of units of BSI Bank and Falcon Bank.

(Reporting by Fathin Ungku in SINGAPORE and Rozanna Latiff in KUALALUMPUR; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)