Bank accounts seized as 1MDB probe widens to Singapore

Singapore is co-operating with authorities in Malaysia, Switzerland and the US on the investigation.

The probe into the financial mismanagement at Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has widened to Singapore, with authorities seizing a large number of bank accounts.

Singapore's Monetary Authority and the Commercial Affairs Department have said the accounts were seized for possible money-laundering offences.

"In connection with these investigations, we have sought and are continuing to seek information from several financial institutions, are interviewing various individuals, and have seized a large number of bank accounts," the statement said.

The city state has said it is co-operating with authorities in Malaysia, Switzerland and the United States on the investigations into 1MDB, Reuters reported.

Swiss prosecutors said last week $4 billion were stolen from the Malaysian state fund and asked Kuala Lumpur to assist in the probe.

The advisory board of 1MDB is chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

According to the Swiss attorney general, a portion of the cash stolen from the fund was transferred into Swiss accounts held by former Malaysian officials as well as current and former officials from the United Arab Emirates.

The stolen money was meant for economic and social development projects in Malaysia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is reeling from allegations that he diverted hundreds of millions of dollars from the state-owned company into his personal account in the run up to the 2013 election.

Malaysia's Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi last week cleared Najib of any wrongdoing, saying the money deposited in the prime minister's bank account was entirely legal "personal donation" from the Saudi royal family and that the prime minister had returned money to the Saudis.

The attorney general said Najib had returned US$620 million to Saudi's royal family from his personal bank account in 2013.

The Saudi royals had paid $681 million to Najib in several tranches in March and April 2013 and that people at the very top had approved the money transfer,.