Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Najib Was Just Arrested at His Private Residence

Najib Was Just Arrested at His Private Residence

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was arrested on Tuesday in a stunning fall from grace following a shock election loss in May amid allegations of massive corruption and misappropriation at a state fund he founded.

Shortly after his ouster, a vast trove of valuables was seized in raids on properties linked Najib and his family, including cash, jewellery and luxury handbags, worth up to $273 million.

Three years ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Malaysian investigators had traced the deposit to a state fund 1MDB that Najib founded over a decade ago.

Najib and his family are accused of stealing billions of dollars from 1MDB in a sophisticated fraud that stretched from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland.

This story is developing.

The fund was started by Najib when he took power in 2009, but it accumulated billions in debts and is being investigated in the USA and several other countries.

Riza is co-founder of Hollywood film production company, Red Granite Pictures, which produced "The Wolf of Wall Street", among other movies.

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USA investigators say $4.5 billion is suspected to have been looted and laundered from the fund, some of which landed in Najib's bank accounts.

He is due in a Kuala Lumpur court at 8:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday, where he will be charged, Goh added.

Najib and his cronies were accused of plundering billions of dollars from the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund to buy everything from USA real estate to artworks.

The arrest was made at Najib's residence at Jalan Langgak Duta, Kuala Lumpur.

Veteran legislator Lim Kit Siang, whose party is a member of the current ruling coalition, said Najib's arrest had been expected. 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.

The settlement that Riza's Red Granite Pictures reached addressed one among two dozen forfeiture lawsuits filed by the USA against US$1.7 billion of assets that were allegedly acquired through money diverted from 1MDB.

The accounts of several companies were also frozen as part of the investigation, the taskforce said.

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