(July 11): Some US$7 billion ($9.5 billion) in funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has circulated in the global financial system, Switzerland Attorney-General Michael Lauber told the press at a media session in Putrajaya on Tuesday, reported The Edge Financial Daily.

Lauber also clarified that the Swiss government had frozen some 400 million Swiss francs ($548 million) in Switzerland said to be linked to the troubled Malaysias state investment fund which has seen at least US$3.5 billion siphoned off.

The visit by the Swiss AG and his delegation on Monday and Tuesday followed direct communication established with Malaysia’s AG Tommy Thomas last week.

Asked about the request to the Malaysian AG for mutual legal assistance (MLA) which will authorise formal cross-border investigative coordination, Lauber was reported as saying: “I have no doubt that my colleague and his office are full of will, and have the capacity to cooperate with Switzerland and also with the other countries who are very much interested to cooperate with Malaysia.”

Lauber also said that Swiss government intends to return 1MDB assets to Malaysia, including “most of” the 400 million Swiss francs currently frozen if they indeed belonged to 1MDB because a portion of the money may not come from 1MDB but allegedly originated from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

On the people involved, Lauber clarified that former prime minister and 1MDB chairman Najib Razak is still not in the scope of the investigation by the Swiss government. The 1MDB scandal’s alleged mastermind and now fugitive Low Take Jho, better known as Jho Low, is also not being pursued by the Swiss government, added the Swiss AG.

Overall, Lauber also expects the investigation and proceedings to spread over the course of a few years.