A construction worker talks on the phone in front of a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur February 3, 2016. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — The Singapore police today said that it has been aiding its Malaysian counterparts in investigations involving Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s husband, Datuk Tawfiq Ayman, who has been linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Earlier this month, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) had said that they are waiting for clearance from Singapore to enter the island state and continue its 1MDB-related investigation into Tawfiq.
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) deputy director Datuk Mohd Kamarudin Md Din said police are unable to give an estimate of when they would be able to enter Singapore, as it depended on the authorities there.
“We will go as soon as they allow us to cross the border,” he reportedly said, adding that the surge in Covid-19 cases in both countries, due to the Omicron variant, had disrupted the investigation process.
However, the Singapore police in a statement, said that it has always been prompt and facilitative of PDRM’s requests, adding that its Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) had also agreed to PDRM’s request in December, to travel to the republic to conduct investigations.
“The police would like to clarify that all requests for assistance from the RMP have been dealt with promptly, and we have been facilitative. For the investigations into Datuk Dr Tawfiq Ayman, RMP made the request to travel to Singapore to conduct further investigations on December 2, 2021. CAD responded on December 6, 2021 to agree to the request; we proposed multiple dates for the visit, and also proposed arrangements to comply with the Covid-19 border measures.
“There were multiple correspondences subsequently. In the last correspondence on January 10, 2022, CAD proposed for the visit to then be conducted between 8 and 9 February, 2022, and RMP responded March 8, 2022, when they requested to enter Singapore in mid to late March,” the statement read.
It added that Singapore has facilitated Malaysia’s 1MDB-related investigations in other ways since 2015, including arranging for the repatriation of about S$88 million (RM274 million) of seized 1MDB-related monies to the Malaysian government.
“We will continue to facilitate requests for assistance in accordance with Singapore’s legal framework,” the statement read further.
Last March, it was reported that Tawfiq, the husband of former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Zeti, was being investigated under Section (4)(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
It has been alleged that Iron Rhapsody Ltd, a company supposedly owned by Tawfiq and his son, received RM66 million through five different transactions from companies and bank accounts held by Low Taek Jho — more commonly known as Jho Low.
Malaysiakini previously reported de facto Deputy Law Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsuddin saying that the investigation has been halted as police were unable to enter Singapore, after receiving instructions from the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to take further investigative action in the island nation.
Tawfiq was also implied to have partaken in corrupt activities, by former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner, during the US corruption trial of Malaysian former banker Roger Ng.