THE wife of disgraced former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak may soon be hit with up to 20 criminal charges, most of them related to alleged money laundering, local media reported.
According to the New Straits Times, Rosmah Mansor is expected to answer the formal charges after investigators revived a probe that began two years ago.
The investigators reportedly reopened the “Rosmah file” some three months ago, around the time she was called in by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for questioning on a probe related to the multibillion-dollar 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
Known for her lavish lifestyle and taste for extravagant handbags and jewellery, Rosmah is country’s first former prime minister’s wife to be questioned by the MACC.
The NST report highlighted one charge which involved the purchase of hormone-based anti-ageing products from the United States worth just over RM1 million (US$250,000).
Sources told the daily that investigators believed the oral dietary supplements were bought with funds stolen from a subsidiary of 1MDB.
The supplements were touted to be able to enhance hormone levels by 600 percent if consumed rigourously; boosting energy levels, improving quality of sleep, increasing sex drive, and decreasing body fat, apart from giving better skin complexion.
The sources said the investigators had traced a cheque to a local doctor for two sets of the medication worth RM500,000 (US$125,000) each.
The account linked to the cheque purportedly belonged to a Najib-linked bank account which is being scrutinised by the investigators.
Another cheque from the same account showed another RM100,000 (US$25,000) which was used for renovation works at a house in Taman Duta, the area of Rosmah’s private residence.
However, the NST report did not indicate when Rosmah would be facing the charges.
Najib was arrested at his home in July, less than two months after an unexpected election defeat to a coalition led by his mentor-turned-foe Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Since his ouster, police and anti-graft investigators have revived probes into missing billions related to the 1MDB state fund.
The criminal breach of trust charges against Najib involve the embezzlement of RM27 million (US$6.75 million), RM5 million (US$1.25 million) and RM10 million (US$2.5 million) from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of 1MDB, while he was serving as prime minister and finance minister.
The other graft charge involved a payout to Najib amounting to RM42 million (US$10 million) for his alleged involvement in the decision to provide government guarantees for an RM4 billion (US$1 billion) loan from Retirement Fund (Incorporated) to SRC International.