According to the WSJ, the disclosure was made by Singapore’s financial regulators who were aiding Malaysian investigators probing claims that billions of ringgit were misappropriated from the state-owned 1MDB’s coffers.
“Malaysian authorities have received information about the accounts of a young Malaysian financier as part of a probe into allegations of misallocation of money from a controversial state investment fund overseen by Prime Minister Najib Razak,” said the report.
In March, Malaysian authorities were told of US$529 million said to have been deposited between 2011 and 2013 into an account at BSI Bank in Singapore that was controlled by the tycoon popularly known as Jho Low.
BSI Bank is also the same institution in which 1MDB deposited US$1.1 billion of what was initially represented as cash, but embarrassingly turned out to be “units” of an undisclosed nature.
In a March 13 letter, Singapore police’s Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office gave details of deposits into the business account from the Swiss bank account of a company called Good Star Ltd.
Singapore authorities were unable, however, to ascertain the source and eventual destination of the US$529 million.
Low has repeatedly denied any association with 1MDB, but continues to be linked to the state-owned firm due to his role in its predecessor, the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA).
He is also seen as connected to Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak due to his friendship with the latter’s stepson, Hollywood producer Riza Aziz.
In a report last Friday, the WSJ claimed that a money trail showed that US$700 million was moved between government agencies, banks and companies before it ended up in Najib's personal accounts.
A special taskforce comprising the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara Malaysia, the Royal Malaysian Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission are investigating 1MDB and the claim made by the WSJ.
The high-powered investigation this week froze six bank accounts and seized 17 documents over the alleged money trail, but later said that none of these were linked to Najib.
Najib has denied taking funds from 1MDB for “personal gain” and his lawyers have since asked the WSJ to state if the newspaper is accusing the prime minister of misappropriating funds.