One of the keynote speakers for the 2016 ACFE Fraud Conference Asia-Pacific, Clare Rewcastle Brown, is all too familiar with the reach of global corruption. Rewcastle Brown is an investigative journalist who has begun a heated international dialogue by publishing accounts alleging corruption occurring in Malaysia. Brown founded the Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak in 2010 to first highlight local deforestation occurring in the Sarawak region of Malaysia. That led her to uncover a system of kickbacks between the logging companies and local officials.
In 2013, her investigations turned from deforestation to exposing potential bribery and theft involved in a Malaysian public development fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). She obtained leaked materials from an employee of PetroSaudi, an investor in the 1MDB fund, which showed USD 700 million that should have been invested in 1MDB ended up in the personal account of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak.
While 1MDB was created and marketed as a fund set up for furthering Malaysian growth and infrastructure, Rewcastle Brown began uncovering how the fund was drained and moved into various shell companies that benefited a few investors. Multiple banks have been tied to the scandal, including Goldman Sachs, which led a number of outside countries, including the U.S., Singapore and Switzerland, to launch their own investigations into the fund.
Despite having an arrest warrant put out for her in Malaysia and dealing with potential stalking in her home base of London, Rewscatle Brown remains optimistic about what her investigations in 1MDB mean for corruption on a greater scale.
"I think we're seeing a swing of the pendulum. I think that 1MDB has cropped up at perhaps the right place, the right time," she said. "This whole off-shore financial structure that's been allowed to grow ... the whole thing's got out of control and I think governments all over the world are starting to realize they've lost control."
Be sure to register to hear her speak in Singapore, November 20-22 during the 2016 ACFE Fraud Conference Asia-Pacific and find out more about Rewcastle Brown in October in an exclusive interview here on Fraud Conference News.