Malaysia seizes over US$243 million from Chinese firm

Malaysian authorities have seized more than 1 billion ringgit (US$243.25 million) from a bank account of the China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Ltd (CPP), a unit of state energy giant China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

A pipeline project in Malaysia (Illustrative image:

A pipeline project in Malaysia (Illustrative image:

According to the Straits Times newspaper, the seizure comes nearly a year after Malaysia suspended two pipeline projects, valued at US$2.3 billion, on which CPP was the lead contractor.

The Malaysian Government has ordered HSBC to transfer the sum held in the Chinese firm's account to Suria Strategic Energy Resources, which is owned by the Malaysian Ministry of Finance.

Officials of the Malaysia's Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Malaysian Prime Minister and the CPP's Malaysia Office did not comment on this issue.

HSBC declined to comment, citing client confidentiality. An official of the CNPC also refused to comment.

In 2016, the CPP won a contract from the government of former Malaysian PM Najib Razak to build a petroleum pipeline stretching 600 km along the west coast of peninsular Malaysia and a 662-km gas pipeline in Sabah, the Malaysian state on Borneo island.

The projects were suspended last July by Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad.

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