International NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) has urged Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio to return all funds that he and his eponymous foundation allegedly received from 1MDB-linked individuals.
In a letter to the actor, BMF asked DiCaprio to disclose and return any funds that he may have received from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s stepson Riza Aziz, his associates Jho Low and Tan Kim Loong as well as Riza’s production company Red Granite Pictures.
“We are deeply disturbed that Leonardo DiCaprio and his foundation accepted assets that originate from the proceeds of corruption in Malaysia.
“This is a disgrace and in total contradiction with the declared aims of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
“We call on DiCaprio to apologise and pay back all this dirty money to the Malaysian people,” BMF director Lukas Straumann says in the letter.
This comes after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a forfeiture suit seeking to forfeit US$1 billion in assets allegedly purchased with money misappropriated from 1MDB.
In the court documents, it was revealed that DiCaprio, who was only referred to as Hollywood Actor 1, had close ties with Riza and Jho Low.
It had been reported that the DOJ had purportedly said that certain donations to the Oscar winner’s charity came directly from funds linked to the 1MDB scandal.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation champions the protection of wildlife, the restoration of wild land and the empowerment of communities.
The DOJ lawsuit named only four people – Riza, Low and two Abu Dhabi government officials.