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Malaysia Government Fund Denies Funneling Najib $700m

  • VOA News

FILE - Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (R) delivers a speech.

FILE - Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (R) delivers a speech.

A Malaysian government-owned investment fund is denying reports that suggest it transferred over $700 million to bank accounts belonging to Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The Wall Street Journal and the Malaysia-based Sarawak Report initially published the findings, based on documents from a government investigation into the 1MDB fund.

The development fund has faced accusations of corruption and mismanagement, and is over $11 billion in debt. It is chaired by Prime Minister Najib, who has denied wrongdoing.

In a written statement, 1MDB said it has "never provided any funds to the prime minister," calling the reports "highly irresponsible and an attempt to undermine the company."

The Journal quoted a Malaysian government spokesman as saying Najib "has not taken any funds for personal use" and dismissing the accusations as a smear attempt by political opponents.

The paper said the two largest deposits, in the amounts of $620 million and $61 million, were transferred into Najib's account in the midst of a tightly contested 2013 election campaign.

"The original source of the money is unclear and the government investigation doesn't detail what happened to the money that went into Mr. Najib's personal accounts," said the report.

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