Malaysia has seized more than 1 billion ringgit ($243.25 million) from a bank account of state-owned China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Ltd (CPP), the Straits Times newspaper said on Saturday.
The seizure comes nearly a year after Malaysia suspended two pipeline projects, valued at $2.3 billion, on which CPP was the lead contractor.
The Malaysian government this month ordered HSBC to transfer the funds held in the Chinese firm’s account to Suria Strategic Energy Resources, which is wholly owned by the Malaysian finance ministry, the Singapore-based newspaper said.
CPP was perplexed by the unilateral transfer of funds out of its account without notification, the firm, a unit of state energy giant China National Petroleum Corp, told the newspaper.
Officials of Malaysia’s finance ministry, the office of its prime minister and the pipeline firm’s Malaysia office did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters for comment. HSBC declined to comment, citing client confidentiality. An official of CPP’s parent, China National Petroleum, also declined to comment.