Malaysia did not respond to the Swiss attorney general’s initial request for assistance earlier this year.
Swiss prosecutors have again asked for help from Malaysian authorities, after their first request in January went unanswered, as part of criminal proceedings in relation to scandal-hit Malaysian sovereign fund 1MDB.
Switzerland's Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said on Wednesday that $800 million appear to have been misappropriated from investments in natural resources made by the SRC sovereign fund. It added that a Ponzi scheme may have been created to conceal the alleged misappropriations from both the SRC fund and from 1MDB.
SRC International, a company that was linked to 1MDB, is now controlled by the Malaysian finance ministry.
“The aim of the OAG’s latest request is therefore to obtain further evidence in corroboration of the latest findings, in addition to the assistance requested in the OAG’s initial request of January 2016, which is still pending. The OAG has also requested assistance from the Malaysian authorities so that the presumed companies / persons suffering harm can assert their rights in the Swiss criminal proceedings,” the OAG said.
1MDB, which was launched in 2009 with the stated aim of boosting the Malaysian economy, is the subject of multiple international investigations into alleged corruption by politicians and other public figures.
The controversy surrounding the embattled fund, which has already seen a number of major private banks scolded for failings over anti-money laundering controls, recently spread to the charity of Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio. According to International Business Times, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which supports environmental causes, received donations from money originally siphoned off from 1MDB.