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November 14, 2018updated 20 Nov 2018 2:13pm

Goldman Sachs to repay Malaysia as US extradites 1MDB banker

By Oliver Williams

On Wednesday Malaysian police said that a former Goldman Sachs banker mired in the 1MDB scandal would face extradition to US in January.

Ng Chong Hwa (also known as Roger Ng) was arrested in Malaysia earlier this month at the request of the US Department of Justice (DoJ), which is investigating Goldman Sachs’ role in the toxic 1MDB fund that unseated Malaysia’s former prime minister.

Last week US authorities charged another Goldman Sachs employee, and senior to Roger Ng, Tim Leissner for siphoning funds from the 1MDB fund. 

Leissner has pleaded guilty to conspiring with Malaysian businessman Jho Low (also known as Low Taek Jho) and paying $2.7bn in bribes in order to gain a lead role for Goldman Sachs in the bond financing. Jho Low has maintained his innocence.

In court, Leissner said that concealing facts from the company’s compliance team was “very much in line with its culture”.

Goldman Sachs faces uncertain future in Malaysia

In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Malaysia’s prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, said that compliance controls at the bank, “do not work very well. There is evidence Goldman Sachs has done things that are wrong”.

When asked whether he would ban Goldman Sachs from doing future business in the country, Mohamad said simply, “we are watching [the trial]”.

At an Asean summit in Singapore this week, Mohamad said that the DoJ, “has promised that they will give back the money”. The DoJ estimates that Goldman Sachs misappropriated $4.5bn from a total of $6.5bn in bond issuances for 1MDB.

1MDB film to be made

As the 1MDB story continues to unfold, Ivanhoe Pictures think they have found a way to make money from the scandal. Last week movie producer acquired the film rights to Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood And The World, a bestseller written about the scandal by Wall Street Journal reporters Tom Wright and Bradley Hope.

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