Swiss authorities are probing a pair of transactions related to a Malaysian state investment fund for corruption and money laundering. The investigation is focused on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd fund (1MDB), whose advisory board is headed by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The Wall Street Journal, citing a spokesman for Switzerland's Office of the Attorney General, reported that the investigation focused on 1MDB was triggered as "suspicious transactions" in the banking sector were reported to the Swiss Money Laundering Reporting Office (MROS). The Swiss investigation is related to suspected corruption of foreign officials and suspected money laundering, the spokesman said, without giving details.
Meanwhile, 1MBD said in a statement that it had not received any notification from Swiss authorities, adding that it was ready to assist them. The investigation comes as the fund, which has a government guarantee on some of its borrowings, is facing more than $11bn (£7bn, €9.7bn) in debt.
"1MDB has not been contacted by any Swiss authorities but is ready to assist in any investigation if approached, subject to advice from the appropriate Malaysian authorities," the company said.
"We remain committed to fully cooperate with all lawful authorities that are currently investigating 1MDB."
In July, the WSJ reported that Malaysian investigators had traced nearly $700m of deposits into what they believed were Razak's personal bank accounts after the movement of cash among agencies, banks and companies linked to 1MDB. The prime minister denied any wrongdoing, while the country's anti-graft agency said the money was donated from the Middle East.
Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he had met the wealthy Arab family who had donated the amount channelled into the prime minister's personal accounts, The Star reported. He added that he had verified documents and confirmed that the funds were not from the 1MDB.