Van Gogh, Monet paintings seized in Malaysia graft probe

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GENEVA: Switzerland has seized a painting by Vincent Van Gogh and two others by Claude Monet as part of the global investigation into Malaysia’s scandal-tainted sovereign wealth fund, an official said Friday. The works were seized following a request from the United States, one of several countries probing alleged massive fraud at the Malaysian state fund 1MDB, said Swiss justice ministry spokeswoman Ingrid Reyser. “The operation is over and we confiscated the three paintings,” Reyser told Agence Framce-Presse in an email. She declined to comment on where the paintings had been kept or the individuals involved. Earlier this week, the US justice department filed lawsuits seeking to reclaim more than $1 billion in assets linked to stolen or laundered 1MDB funds. Artworks by Monet and Van Gogh were among the assets listed in the lawsuit filed at a California federal court. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is facing mounting pressure over the scandal. Authorities in the US, Switzerland and Singapore are probing claims that the prime minister, his relatives and associates syphoned off enormous sums of public money.

AFP

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