UPDATE 2-Singapore to return $11 mln in 1MDB-linked funds to Malaysia
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 was siphoned off from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a fund founded by former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
"The S$15.3 million recovered is the first phase of the ongoing efforts to recover funds that were unlawfully misappropriated from the 1MDB and/or SRC International Sdn Bhd Group of Companies," it said in a statement.
"Millions more are expected to be recovered in time," it added.
"Efforts to recover other unlawfully misappropriated assets are ongoing," the firm said.
Malaysia's finance minister Lim Guan Eng thanked the Singapore court for its decision and said he hoped it would be "the beginning of more to come".
"After all, the sum of these monies is only a tip of the iceberg to be returned relating to 1MDB," Lim said in a statement.
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.