Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Malaysia's prime minister claims Goldman bankers 'cheated' country over 1MDB deals

Malaysia's prime minister claims Goldman bankers 'cheated' country over 1MDB deals

During a lunch hosted by his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsian Loong, on Monday, Dr Mahathir had thanked Singapore for helping Malaysia in a currency crisis.

Earlier this month, U.S. prosecutors filed criminals charges on two former Goldman bankers, including Tim Leissnerm who pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by conspiring to launder money.

But earlier this month, Leissner, the former chair of Goldman's Southeast Asia business, roped the company deeper into the scandal when he pleaded guilty to bribery and money laundering, and paid $43.7 million.

Goldman Sachs is in the cross hairs of Malaysian and U.S. investigators over its role in the 1MDB scandal.

"There is evidence that Goldman Sachs has done things that are wrong", Mahathir said in an interview with US news channel CNBC aired on Tuesday.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. stock has tumbled as Malaysia stepped up pressure on the bank and is seeking a full refund of fees it paid for 1MDB deals.

Dr Mahathir also saidUS prosecutors have promised to help return money that Goldman Sachs charged for its dealings with 1MDB.

The bank has been under scrutiny for years for its role in raising $6.5 billion for 1MDB and for the fees and commissions it earned from the bonds. Goldman denied any wrongdoing.

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In September, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said he welcomed the move by the Singapore State Courts to return to Malaysia monies totalling S$15.3 million (RM45.9 million) that was misappropriated from 1MDB and SRC International Sdn Bhd.

"The Malaysian government will want to reclaim all the fees paid, as well as all the losses including the interest rate differential", Lim told reporters.

"The DOJ (Department of Justice of the United States) says it is about US$4.3 billion".

Port Dickson MP Anwar Ibrahim said with the USA having initiated legal action, Malaysia, too, should demand the return of US$600 million (RM2.4 billion) in commission that the bank received for its work with 1MDB.

Goldman Sachs stated that it was cooperating with the authorities and could possibly be looking at paying hefty fines.

The US, Malaysia and at least four other countries are investigating how billions of US dollar went missing from 1MDB, founded by former PM Najib-Razak in 2009.

Mr Lim did not say how Malaysia would seek to recoup any money beyond that he would leave the matter to Malaysia's attorney-general. He has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing. Low, allegedly a central figure in looting 1MDB, remains at large.

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