1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the state fund at the heart of the corruption allegations against former prime minister Najib Razak, no longer has legal representation after its law firm relieved itself from acting for the company.
According to The Star newspaper in Malaysia, Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, name partner of Tan Hock Chuan & Co., recently informed reporters that the law firm had applied to withdraw itself as it could not get instructions from 1MDB. This came shortly after a lawsuit was filed against former First Lady Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to return a $27.3 million 22-carat pink diamond necklace set allegedly bought with 1MDB funds.
The discharge of Tan Hock Chuan & Co. comes at a time when the investigation into the 1MDB scandal is intensifying. The U.S Department of Justice recently said that it would continue to pursue investigations into 1MDB, according to Reuters, which said that the department is looking to recover more than $1.7 billion in assets traceable to funds allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.”
Reuters also added that domestically, Malaysia has set up a special task force that will look into possible criminal conduct of individuals involved in the management of 1MDB. The taskforce, which will include the anti-graft agency, police and the central bank, will also be responsible for identifying and seizing assets acquired using funds allegedly syphoned from the state fund, which was set up in 2009 by Najib.
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