Malaysian authorities arrest former prime minister Najib Razak over 1MDB investigation

04 July, 2018, 03:00 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Riza Aziz Leonardo DiCaprio Margot Robbie and producer Joey Mc Farland attend the U.K. Premiere of

In a pre-recorded video posted on social media hours after his arrest, Najib apologized to Malaysians but remained defiant.

Police have also seized jewellery and valuables valued at more than $272 million (1.1 billion ringgit) from properties linked to Najib.

The former prime minister is under investigation over a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal at the 1MDB state fund. Prosecutors in at least six countries, including the United States, have been investigating Najib's role in the disappearance of funds.

This story is developing.

Then attorney-general Tan Sri Gani Patail was later removed on July 28, 2015, just as he was allegedly preparing to charge Najib in the 1MDB case.

The arrest, made in connection with the investigation of a massive corruption scandal, was carried out last week by anti-corruption task force officials.

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After leading the country for almost a decade, it was a swift fall for Najib, the son of Malaysia's second prime minister, following an unexpected election defeat in May to 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad.

The United States' Department of Justice filed lawsuits to seize about US$1.7 billion in assets that it said had been bought with money misappropriated from 1MDB, including real estate in NY and southern California, artwork, and a luxury yacht.

Earlier Tuesday, the anti-corruption agency questioned Riza Aziz, Najib's stepson and a Hollywood film producer, as it stepped up its probe on 1MDB.

Najib would stay there overnight and be brought to court Wednesday, she added. Riza did not speak to reporters on his arrival at the anti-graft office. In the US, his production company had reached a $60 million settlement in a suit that alleged the movie was funded by money siphoned from 1MDB.

Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing in dealings with state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). That includes real estate, art and proceeds from "The Wolf of Wall Street", which was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio. Red Granite was unavailable for comment.

Recently, 408 bank accounts belonging to individuals, political parties and non-governmental organisations - with funds totaling RM1.1 billion - were frozen between June 26 and June 29 in connection with the 1MDB investigation.

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