Attorney General of the United States (US), Loretta E. Lynch announced on 20 July 2016 the filing of civil forfeiture complaints seeking the forfeiture and recovery of more than $1 billion in assets associated with an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Let's look her press briefing:
If you cannot spare 6 minutes to watch the above video, there is a press release by the US Justice Department for a quick 2 minute read.
This asset seizure would be the largest ever by the U.S. Justice Department’s anti-corruption unit. Malaysia and to be more specifically 1MDB is making history in the US. That has to be a big news. This news of the largest asset seizure in the US has made Malaysia very popular internationally. Winning the 1st gold medal in Olympics by Malaysians may not generate as much popularity. Why would they need an Olympic gold medal when they could have potentially the largest money laundering case in the world this year? There can be many gold medals in an Olympics but this case may be the largest in this world...
US Attorney General created a buzz in Malaysia by mentioning Malaysian Official 1 (MO1) and yet did not mention the real person. Many Malaysians started asking the question who MO1 is. The "Search for MO1' perhaps can only be equated by Pokemon Go craze in Malaysia. Who is the MO1 behind an international conspiracy to launder misappropriated funds in the US?
The Wall Street Journal was very sure who MO1 was. On the contrary, Malaysian government denied the involvement of its prime minister, Najib Razak. Incidentally, Najib is the person who have made popular '1' or '1Malaysia' by using them in all his political and governmental programmes in Malaysia. MO1 seemed very aptly used by the U.S. Justice Department. Don't you think so?
Noticeably, the U.S. Justice Department named Riza Aziz, the step-son of Najib, as a "relevant individual" in the case. They also named another flamboyant Malaysian Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low. He has been living on a highly lavish lifestyle possibly with the money from 1MDB.
The misappropriation of 1MDB funds has given rise to lawsuits and investigations in the US, Switzerland, the UK, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and Singapore. Malaysian Attorney General however have inexplicably cleared 1MDB and Najib of any abuse or misappropriation of funds.
The search for MO1 and the culprits is not over yet worldwide but the case has prematurely ended in Malaysia.
1MDB scandal has a dedicated page in Wikipedia now. You may find 1MDB scandal too complicated if you have not been following. BBC provided a good summary of the scandalous affairs.