Malaysia ex-prime minister Najib faces fresh charges over Abu Dhabi wealth fund payment

Malaysia ex-prime minister Najib faces fresh charges over Abu Dhabi wealth fund payment
2 min read
24 October, 2018
Malaysian anti-corruption investigators are reportedly preparing to level fresh charges against fromer leader Najib Razak on Thursday.
Former leader Najib Razak is expected to spend Wednesday night in custody [Getty]

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak arrived at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya on Thursday to meet graft investigators who are preparing fresh charges against him.

Najib is expected to spend the night in custody before being brought to court on Thursday morning. The new charges relate to a deal between the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) sovereign wealth fund and Abu Dhabi-based wealth fund International Petroleum Company (IPIC).

The latest probe relates to a payment of more than $1.2 billion made by 1MDB to IPIC following a $6.5 billion claim made by the Abu Dhabi-based fund.

As chairman of 1MDB's board of advisers at the time of the payment, Najib is liable for his role in the settlment.

The former prime minister was swept from power in Malaysia's May elections, when voters expressed their frustration over mounting allegations of corruption and embezzlement by the Barisan Nasional ruling coalition.

Invesigators are probing a payment of $628 million that was made into Najib's personal bank account. It is alleged that the money came from the 1MDB fund, however Najib has insisted that it was a donation from Saudi royalty.

The former leader is currently facing 32 charges, including corruption, criminal breach of trust.

The 1MDB scandal, which saw Malaysia change its ruling party for the first time since independence in 1957, has also implicated Najib's wife, Rosmah Mansor.

Malaysian police have seized over $264 million worth in handbags from the former first lady's residences and several thousand pieces of jewellery.

On Wednesday, police chief Mohamad Fuzi said that investigations are underway into a claim of ownership made by a Lebanese jeweller for 44 pieces of seized jewellery valued at $14.79 million. 

Jewellery firm Global Royalty says it loaned the pieces to Rosmah, who is facing currently 17 money laundering charges, in February.