THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) on Tuesday arrested former Prime Minister Najib Razak following graft allegations related to the deposit of some US$10 million from a state-linked fund into his personal bank account.
The MACC issued a statement to confirm that the special taskforce formed to investigate the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal has arrested the former leader at his personal residence in Kuala Lumpur at about 2.35pm.
“Najib will be charged on 4 July 2018 at the Kuala Lumpur court,” the statement, signed by four senior members of the taskforce, read.
The investigation is looking into how RM42 million (US$10 million) landed into Najib’s personal account from SRC International, a subsidiary of 1MDB.
SRC was created in 2011 by Najib’s government to pursue overseas investments in energy resources, and was a unit of 1MDB until it was moved to the finance ministry in 2012.
Najib was ousted from power in May’s tumultuous polls. The sum is just a fraction of the billions of dollars allegedly siphoned from 1MDB in a scandal that has dogged Najib’s leadership for years and is what many say led to his stunning defeat on May 9.
A special taskforce was formed in mid-2015 to investigate allegations against Najib, who was embroiled in the 1MDB scandal and faced public scrutiny over the deposit from SRC international and a larger tranche of US$681 million which was believed to have been siphoned from 1MDB.
Najib, who explained that the US$681 million deposited was “donation” from an unnamed Saudi Arabian prince, was exonerated by the then-Attorney-General, Apandi Ali, in early 2016.
1MDB has been a focus of investigations in at least six countries, including the United States, but Najib has denied any wrong-doing.
The shock election result upended Malaysia’s political order. It was the first defeat for the Barisan Nasional coalition that governed the Southeast Asian nation since its independence from colonial rule in 1957.
Malaysia’s new leader, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has reopened investigations into 1MDB and has vowed to recover money that disappeared from the fund.
Authorities have seized hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of luxury items including Rolex watches and Hermès handbags from several properties owned by Najib.
The total value of the goods is estimated to be up to 1.1 billion Malaysian Ringgit (US$273 million).