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Malaysian anti-graft body summons ex-PM in probe on former 1MDB unit

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A Malaysian anti-graft body has summoned ex-premier Najib Razak to give a statement about an investigation involving a former unit of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

[KUALA LUMPUR] A Malaysian anti-graft body has summoned ex-premier Najib Razak to give a statement about an investigation involving a former unit of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), two sources at the body told Reuters.

A member of a panel which reviewed the case files of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has said it found evidence that about US$10.6 million was transferred from state fund unit SRC International to an account belonging to Mr Najib.

A Reuters witness saw commission officials arrive at Mr Najib's residence in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Friday.

"They are there to serve notice (to Najib) to attend MACC on Tuesday next week to record a statement related to SRC," one of the sources said. Another MACC source confirmed the matter.

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A spokesman for Mr Najib could not be immediately reached for comment.

 Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s government is considering investigating Mr Najib for abuse of power, as it intensifies efforts to seek evidence of wrongdoing at scandal-plagued state fund 1MDB just days after taking office.

The MACC laid out in recent days a comprehensive list detailing the potential scope of investigations into 1MDB, according to people who have seen the document. Examples of potential abuse of power by Mr Najib that the agency identified include witness suppression and the blocking of a central bank criminal case.

Mr Najib had indicated at the outset that he was "prepared and willing to extend his fullest cooperation to the relevant authorities," his lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal said in a statement on Thursday in response to a raid on his client’s home.

Among the other areas the commission is looking into:

Whether criminal breach of trust was involved in a letter of support from the Ministry of Finance for 1MDB bonds

Alleged fraudulent investment by the fund

An unauthorized bond issuance by the fund outside of its Articles of Association

Funds flowing into Mr Najib’s personal account

The move to lay out the scope of a renewed probe underscores how fast Dr Mahathir’s government is moving to revive an investigation into 1MDB, which was set up in 2009 under Mr Najib’s watch to support local infrastructure projects. Since the 92-year old defeated Mr Najib’s government in a shock election victory last week, he has barred his former protege from leaving the country; and police have searched Mr Najib’s home and seized documents from his former office this week.

Police also seized a huge haul of designer handbags, many of them stuffed with cash and jewellery at Mr Najib's luxury condominiums at an upscale complex in central Kuala Lumpur.

Dr Mahathir said Wednesday he will seek to recover funds diverted from 1MDB by reaching out to authorities in Switzerland, the US, Singapore and other jurisdictions. A parliamentary committee in 2016 identified at least US$4.2 billion in irregular transactions by the fund.

BLOOMBERG,REUTERS

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