Swiss authorities said on Wednesday they had frozen funds in Swiss banks amid investigations of Malaysia's troubled state investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), on suspicion of corruption and money laundering.
Both Swiss and Malaysian authorities are conducting inquiries concerning the fund, whose advisory board is chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak. The fund has been dogged by controversy over its $11 billion debt and alleged financial mismanagement.
"The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has frozen assets amounting to several tens of millions of U.S. dollars on Swiss bank accounts," an OAG spokeswoman said by email in response to an enquiry.
"At this early stage of the procedure, the OAG is analysing and consolidating evidence. The OAG is already in contact with the Malaysian authorities. International cooperation with foreign countries, in particular with Malaysia, will probably be necessary to establish the facts," she said.