3 more, including ex-chief investment officer, sought to assist in 1MDB probe

3 more, including ex-chief investment officer, sought to assist in 1MDB probe
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

PUTRAJAYA - Investigators are looking for at least three more people to help with the 1MDB probe.

A key personality they need to get in touch with is believed to be 1MDB's former chief investment officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil (pic), who has been barred from leaving the country along with several others.

A source said Nik Faisal could be out of Malaysia.

Investigators assigned to question the three individuals and probe into the dealings of their companies were unable to trace their whereabouts.

"Faisal was questioned several times earlier. But investigators have not been able to get in touch with him lately. That's why there is a travel ban on him," said a source.

Nik Faisal is a director of SRC International, a company that is alleged to have channelled funds to the private account of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

On July 2, The Wall Street Journal contended that investigators probing the financial affairs of 1MDB had discovered US$700mil (S$958 million) deposited into Najib's accounts.

WSJ alleged that US$681mil came from Tanore Finance, an offshore bank in British Virgin Islands, and the rest from local companies, including SRC International.

SRC International was a company incorporated by 1MDB in 2011 before it was taken over by the Finance Ministry a year later.

The WSJ report did not say where Tanore Finance got the money.

The source also said that those who have been cooperating with the investigators would not be barred from leaving Malaysia.

"Even if the people we are looking for have left the country, the investigators will use their network to trace them. Moreover, they cannot be away from the country for too long a time," said the source.

Sources said the investigators with the special task force had even placed officers near their homes and offices.

For instance, they pointed out that investigators spent a few days looking for the managing director who was eventually detained at a hotel on Tuesday.

"It's not going to be easy for the investigators as the case is very complex but they are moving in the right direction. Singapore police are also helping with the probe, with the freezing of two bank accounts.

"The two accounts belong to a key figure in the probe," said the source.

The Star tried to interview Nik Faisal at the SRC International office but was turned away.

"We don't want any reporters to come here," said a security officer.

Calls to Nik Faisal went unanswered.

On Tuesday, a 39-year-old director of a Putrajaya-based construction and property development company was remanded for four days after he was arrested at the KL International Airport.

The director, who was once associated with SRC International, is also being probed for allegedly receiving bribes.

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