Swiss seize Monet, van Gogh works amid US probe of fund 1MDB

AP News
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Posted: Jul 22, 2016 8:36 AM

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss authorities have seized three paintings by Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh following a U.S. request as part of a probe into the scandal surrounding the Malaysian wealth fund 1MDB.

A Federal Office of Justice spokesman said Friday that van Gogh's "La Maison de Vincent a Arles" and "Saint-Georges Majeur" and Monet's "Nympheas avec Reflets de Hautes Herbes" were confiscated on Thursday. He declined to specify the location of the confiscations or give his name because the investigation was ongoing.

Justice officials declined to estimate the value of the works, but Christie's Web site says "La Maison de Vincent a Arles" sold for nearly $5.5 million at a New York auction in November 2013.

The U.S. on Wednesday announced moves to recover over $1 billion that officials say was stolen from 1MBD by people close to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. U.S. federal documents say the diverted funds paid for luxury U.S. properties, a $35 million jet, artworks, and helped finance Hollywood film, "The Wolf of Wall Street."