Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib arrested to be charged over 1MDB scandal

Image: Asia Times

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was arrested on Tuesday afternoon (Jul 3) in relation to the probe into SRC International, a former unit of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

He will be charged in court on Wednesday at 8.30am, the 1MDB task force investigating the scandal said in a statement, adding that Najib was arrested at his private residence in Kuala Lumpur. Anti-corruption officers arrived at his house “in three to four unmarked cars”, a senior security official familiar with the arrest told AFP.

He was then taken to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya where he will spend the night in lock-up. Quoting the source Bernama news agency said Najib is expected to face more than 10 counts of committing criminal breach of trust linked to SRC International.

The report also said that Najib will be charged at a Kuala Lumpur court and that the new Attorney-General Tommy Thomas will lead the prosecution team. Also, he’s expected to be charged at the Criminal Sessions Court 2 located at Level 4 on the right wing of the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex.

MACC’s investigation into Najib’s involvement is focused on how RM42 million (US$10.6 million) went from SRC International into his bank account. He was summoned to the MACC headquarters in May to explain the suspicious transfer.

SRC International 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.

1MDB, founded by Najib in 2009, is being investigated in at least six countries for alleged money laundering and graft.

Civil lawsuits filed by the US Department of Justice allege that nearly US$4.5 billion from 1MDB was laundered through a complex web of transactions and shell companies.

Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he “respects the rule of law” when asked about the arrest of Najib.

In Malaysia, the probe into the scandal moved swiftly after the Pakatan Harapan coalition, led by Mahathir Mohamad, won the May 9 general election.


Source: Channel News Asia, Bernama

The Kootneeti South East Asia Team

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