Swiss lawmakers confirmed in a meeting with civil society organisations yesterday that the Malaysian government never made an attempt to claim 104m Swiss franks (RM400m) in illicit profits confiscated by Swiss bank regulator Finma with three banks over their involvement in laundering stolen assets from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
1Malaysia Development Bhd said today it can not claim the 104 million Swiss francs (RM430 million) that Swiss lawmakers are deliberating returning to the rightful owners simply because the money does not belong to it or even the government of Malaysia.
1MDB issued the statement following letters sent by DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang and Pakatan Harapan president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to members of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland over a motion on this money that is to be debated in the National Council or Lower House of the Federal Assembly this week.
Reports said Swiss Social Democratic Party lawmaker Carlo Sammaruga had tabled a motion at the Swiss National Council proposing that the money be repatriated to Malaysia.
Lim had written a similar letter a week earlier. It is not a specific motion on 1MDB or on Malaysia.
Among others, an amount CHF 104 million (approximately RM430 million) is now held by the Swiss Federal Treasury.
"We were advised that the CHF104 million (approximately RM430 million) actually represents the total amount in fines or penalties imposed by FINMA on various private banks for violations of the Swiss finance and banking laws and therefore, the CHF104 million are not monies belonging to the Malaysian government or any of its agencies or related companies", said the ministry.
It added that the impositions of fines have been disputed by the various Swiss banks and they are now appealing to the Swiss Courts for the banks to be exonerated from any wrong doings. It can not be claimed by 1MDB or the government of Malaysia as the money does not belong to 1MDB.