On 7 February, the Guardian reported that the US DoJ has served an arrest warrant on a top London law firm, Clyde & Co, in an effort to seize hundreds of millions of dollars – alleged to be the proceeds of a major international fraud – which it is holding on behalf of a client. The warrant, signed by a US federal judge, identified the “defendant” as the $330 million held by Clyde & Co in a bank account at a NatWest branch in the City. The DoJ alleges the money is derived from a complex fraud against the Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB, which embezzled more than $4billion from the fund and laundered money to pay bribes and finance lavish lifestyles of its alleged perpetrators. The money is said to linked to PetroSaudi, a little-known oil company established by the Saudi businessman Tarek Obaid with a member of the Saudi royal family. Obaid was charged last year in Malaysia in connection with the alleged fraud, but has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
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