Ex-Goldman exec to give up RM120m linked to 1MDB

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PETALING JAYA — Former Goldman Sachs executive Roger Ng and his family have reportedly agreed to surrender about US$29 million (RM120.7 million) linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to Singapore authorities.

Bloomberg reported that Ng, who was arrested last week in Malaysia at the request of United States authorities, will surrender the money that has been frozen in Singapore.

“He’s filing an application to review the US detention and extradition order,” a source close to the matter told Bloomberg.

In September, a Singapore court ordered the return to Malaysia of about S$15.3 million (RM46.4 million) in funds after it was siphoned from 1MDB.

Ng is also fighting extradition to the US where he will face charges of money laundering and bribery after he was indicted in absentia along with his deputy Tim Leissner, Goldman’s former chairman for Southeast Asia, and fugitive millionaire Low Taek Jho.

US prosecutors announced last week that Leissner pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and agreed to forfeit US$43.7 million (RM181.88 million).

According to prosecutors, the investment bank generated about US$600 million (RM2.5 billion) in fees for its work with 1MDB, which included three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013 that raised US$6.5 billion (RM27 billion). Leissner, Ng and others received large bonuses in connection with that revenue.

On Tuesday, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told Bloomberg TV in an interview it would be “inexcusable” if Goldman Sachs was complicit in the scandal.

On Wednesday, Goldman Sachs chief executive officer David Solomon said in interview with Bloomberg TV in Singapore it was “distressing” that two of the bank’s former employees had gone around its policies and broken the law in their dealings with 1MDB.

In a separate news report, the island nation of St Kitts and Nevis was said to have deactivated Low’s economic passport, following his indictment by the US Department of Justice.

It was reported by The St Kitts-Nevis Observer that the country’s prime minister Timothy Harris ordered the deactivation of Low’s passport through Interpol in June, out of “an abundance of caution”.

It is understood that Low, known as Jho Low, became an economic citizen of St Kitts and Nevis in 2011. However, its immigration records indicate Low has never set foot in the country.

In June, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced Malaysia was seeking Low’s arrest. Penang-born Low remains at large.

Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean, St Kitts and Nevis is a dual-island country of under 55,000 people with a total area of 261 sq km. It is one of the smallest nations in terms of size in the Western Hemisphere, and is an associated state of the United Kingdom with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.