Former Malaysian PM charged with cash laundering, abuse of energy

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian prosecutors charged former Prime Minister Najib Razak with 21 counts of cash laundering and 4 counts of abuse of energy on Thursday over tons of of tens of millions of {dollars} acquired in his private checking account.

Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks to journalists as he leaves a courtroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

The costs convey the overall quantity against Najib to 32 as investigators ramp up a probe into how billions went missing from scandal-plagued 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) – a state fund that he based and chaired.

Najib has pleaded not responsible to all the fees.

Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks to journalists as he leaves a courtroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

Charges have piled up on Najib since he unexpectedly lost a common election in May to Mahathir Mohamad, who reopened the 1MDB investigation.

Prosecutors stated Najib used his place as prime minister, finance minister and chairman of 1MDB to acquire funds totalling about 2.three billion ringgit (423 million kilos) between 2011 and 2014.

Najib has confronted cash laundering allegations because the Wall Street Journal reported in 2015 that $681 million was transferred to a private checking account of the then-prime minister.

A year later, the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed the switch and stated the funds originated from 1MDB. It additionally stated a complete of $4.5 billion was stolen from the Malaysian fund.

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Despite rising calls to step down, he clung to energy by cracking down on dissent and the media. But Najib has come under shut scrutiny because the election defeat to his former mentor.

Earlier this year, prosecutors introduced a complete of seven costs, involving cash laundering, criminal breach of belief and abuse of energy, regarding funds of about 42 million ringgit that allegedly flowed from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit, into his private checking account.

The SRC trial will start in February.

1MDB is being investigated by a minimum of six international locations, including Singapore, Switzerland and the United States, over alleged cash laundering and graft.

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff, Liz Lee and Emily Chow; Writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Nick Macfie



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