tiptrot.com July 18, 2018

Najib Razak, former Malaysian prime minister, charged in 1MDB probe

04 July 2018, 01:47 | Bernice Figueroa

Rosmah's son, Riza Aziz, arrives at MACC to have statement recorded

Riza Aziz

Najib Razak has been charged with corruption, a dramatic fall from grace for the former Malaysian prime minister two months after he lost office.

It follows an investigation into how billions of dollars went missing from a state fund - which he founded a decade ago.

Since the election loss Najib has been banned from leaving the country.

A government task force said Najib's arrest was connected to a suspicious multi-million-dollar transfer into his bank account from SRC International, a former subsidiary of the fund known as 1MDB.

AFP says A Malaysian cabinet minister has since said that "Malaysian Official 1" was Najib. One of the sources said Najib was expected to be charged in court on Wednesday.

"I am confident of my innocence, I believe in my innocence and this is the best chance to clear my name", Najib told reporters outside the courtroom after being released on bail.

"There is a role for Australia using AUSTRAC [Australia's financial intelligence agency] and possibly the Australian banking royal commission that is on right at the moment, to determine what happened, and to ensure that money, if it has been abused and funneled to people inappropriately, that it is returned to the people of Malaysia", she said.

The newly-appointed attorney general Tommy Thomas would lead the prosecution team, according to Bernama. Son-in-law Daniyar Kessibayev, who is from Kazakhstan, and Datuk Mohd Nazifuddin Mohd Najib, the former prime minister's son from his first marriage, were also present.

United States authorities allege that a total of more than $4.5bn was stolen from 1MDB by high-level officials and their associates between 2009 and 2015.

Some of Najib's children were present in court, including his stepson, Riza Aziz, who on Tuesday was questioned by anti-graft officers.

Najib has denied the allegations.

- Red Granite, the company behind the 2013 film, "The Wolf of Wall Street", agrees to pay the USA government US$60 million to settle a civil lawsuit that sought to seize assets allegedly bought with money stolen from 1MDB.

- Police say almost US$275 million of assets found at properties linked to Najib, including 12,000 pieces of jewellery, more than 500 handbags, more than 400 watches and almost US$30 million in cash.

The US justice department filed lawsuits to seize some $1.7bn in assets it said were purchased with money stolen from 1MDB.

The arrest is the latest in a series of stunning moves by investigators that suggest the legal noose is tightening around Najib, his family and many of his close political and business allies.

Authorities have also frozen 408 bank accounts allegedly involved in the "misappropriation and misuse" of $271 million linked to 1MDB.

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