MALAYSIA NEWS: 1MDB Fund claims It May Be Victim of $3.5 Billion Fraud

Najib Razak. Photographer: Fazry Ismail/EPA

1Malaysia Development Bhd., the troubled Malaysian state fund that’s the subject of global investigations, said it could be a victim of fraud if payments of $3.5 billion intended for an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund never made it there. Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co. this week denied ownership of a company that received the funds known as Aabar Investments PJS Limited or Aabar BVI. Swiss authorities said on Tuesday they are investigating two former public officials from the United Arab Emirates, who handled Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds that guaranteed 1MDB bonds. “Given the recent denial by IPIC and the announcement by the Office of the Attorney-General of Switzerland, indicating that 1MDB could be a victim of fraud, 1MDB is exploring all avenues open to us,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Authorities from the U.S. to Switzerland and Singapore are trying to determine if some of the billions of dollars that 1MDB raised were siphoned out inappropriately. 1MDB, whose advisory board is headed by Prime Minister Najib Razak, amassed more than 50 billion ringgit ($12.9 billion) of debt over six years, using some of it to buy energy assets, including joint ventures with companies in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.