Crime & Courts

Billions of ringgit from 1MDB investments allegedly unprofitable, MACC officer testifies

KUALA LUMPUR: Billions of ringgit invested by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) did not yield any profit, the High Court heard today. 

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) senior officer Nur Aida Arifin made this contention while testifying in the Datuk Seri Najib Razak corruption trial, which concerns the misappropriation of billions of ringgit from the sovereign wealth fund.

She was cross-examined by Najib's lawyer, Wan Azwan Aiman Wan Fakhruddin, who suggested that 1MDB's investments in various sectors were profitable. 

The lawyer cited examples including 1MDB's investments in the energy sector through the acquisition of power plants and in real estate through the construction of the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) tower.

However, Nur Aida, who was the investigating officer for the 1MDB financial scandal, explained that the power plants were eventually sold to a Chinese company to settle 1MDB's debts. 

She also said that the TRX project was not developed using 1MDB's funds as originally outlined in the joint venture agreement between the company and the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

She said 1MDB had to seek separate investments by attracting other companies to invest in the development of TRX. 

"Further investigation revealed that the funds obtained for the development of TRX, formerly known as Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD), had been misappropriated. 

"TRX was actually financed by foreign investors," she said.

Najib, 70, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount. 

Hearing before presiding judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. 

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