May 18, 2018 / 6:17 PM / a month ago

Luxembourg seeks Malaysia talks over frozen 1MDB cash - sources

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Authorities in Luxembourg hope Malaysia’s new government may offer new information on some $100 million (£74.2 million) from investment fund 1MDB that Luxembourg froze two years ago in a money-laundering probe, judicial sources told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the funds flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur, in this March 1, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/File Photo

Confirming for the first time on Friday that such a sum had been blocked in the Grand Duchy after Swiss private bank Edmond de Rothschild was fined one year ago over money-laundering, the sources said that Luxembourg was keen to pursue inquiries now the new government is looking into troubles at the state fund.

Days after the electoral downfall of Malaysia’s long-time ruling coalition and of premier Najib Razak, new prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has pushed an investigation into scandal-plagued 1Malaysia Development Berhad, amid accusations Najib benefited from money from a former entity of 1MDB.

Najib denies wrongdoing.

In June 2017, Edmond de Rothschild and Luxembourg officials said the bank was fined nearly 9 million euros (£7.8 million)for shortcomings in money-laundering controls. On Friday, the Luxembourg sources said that authorities froze $100 million in the case a year earlier but had not until now been able to determine what to do with the funds due to a lack of information from Malaysia.

Reporting by Michele Sinner in Luxembourg, writing by Alastair Macdonald and Robert-Jan Bartunek in Brussels; @macdonaldrtr; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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