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Singapore Court Orders Return of 1MDB Money to Malaysia

FILE - Construction workers stand in front of a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A court in Singapore has ordered $11 million in seized funds be returned to Malaysia as part of efforts to recover misappropriated money from Malaysia's 1MDB state investment fund.

Law firm Tan Rajah & Cheah, hired by Malaysia to lead the recovery process, said Monday the money was being transferred to a special bank account in Kuala Lumpur set up specifically for missing 1MDB money.

It also said additional work to recover more unlawfully misappropriated assets is ongoing.

The $11 million is just a fraction of what investigators in the case say went missing.

In all, the U.S. Justice Department says a total of $4.5 billion was looted from the investment fund, some of which allegedly landed in former Prime Minister Najib Razak's personal bank accounts.

Najib has been arrested and charged with corruption, breach of trust and money laundering, but says he is innocent.

Singapore has been assisting Malaysia with the case for several years and in 2016 announced it had seized $174 million in cash and properties as a result of investigations into the flow of money from the Malaysian investment fund through entities in Singapore.

Singapore has also closed down two banks, while fining and jailing some bank officials for breaking money-laundering laws.