Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak arrested in corruption probe

Frederick Owens
July 4, 2018

Riza Aziz, co-founder of Red Granite Pictures Inc. and stepson of former Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak, arrived at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for a hearing on Tuesday afternoon.

A security source told AFP that agents from the MACC arrested Mr Najib at his home, a sprawling mansion in a well-heeled suburb of Kuala Lumpur.

Najib Razak, the former Malaysian Prime Minister, was arrested at his house in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. A Najib spokesman did not immediately have a comment and Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing.

The investigation centres on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund which Najib founded and which allegedly has had millions of dollars embezzled from it.

Local media reports said some of the accounts belonged to Najib's political party, the once-powerful United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

"I call on the owners of these accounts to come to MACC and we will show them the evidence and documentation that these funds came from 1MDB, then we will ask them to give back the funds willingly".

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A special government task force investigating the 1MDB corruption scandal said it froze 408 bank accounts containing a total RM1.1 billion ringgit (S$371.5 million) last week.

The scandal is now the subject of money laundering investigations in six counties including the USA.

Najib had gone to the MACC headquarters twice earlier to have his statement recorded over the investigation into a case related to SRC International.

SRC was created in 2011 by Najib's government to pursue overseas investments in energy resources, and was a unit of 1MDB until it was moved to the finance ministry in 2012.

Investigators have been able to track the money trail from SRC more easily because transactions were made through Malaysian entities, whereas most other transfers of 1MDB funds went through foreign banks and companies. Police have also seized jewelry and valuables valued at more than 1.1 billion ringgit ($272 million) from properties linked to Najib.

However, Red Granite in March this year agreed to pay US$60 million (RM234 million) to the U.S. government to resolve allegations that it profited from corrupt money involving 1MDB.

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