Malaysia Corruption Scandal: Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak arrested

Riza Aziz

The former Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak was arrested today in connection with a probe into millions of dollars missing from a state fund.

1MDB, set up by Mr Najib in 2009, was meant to turn the capital, Kuala Lumpur, into a financial hub and boost the economy through strategic investments.

In a pre-recorded message posted on Twitter after his arrest, Najib said not all the accusations against him and his family were true.

Najib was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) at his residence at Jalan Langgak Duta, Kuala Lumpur, at 2.35 pm.

It is unclear at this point what are the charges will be levied against Najib, but sources said he is expected to face more than 10 counts of committing criminal breach of trust linked to the SRC International Sdn Bhd scandal.

Najib and his family are accused of stealing billions of dollars from 1MDB in a sophisticated fraud that stretched from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland.

The US justice department filed lawsuits to seize some $1.7bn in assets it said were purchased with money stolen from 1MDB. "Let investigations be carried out", he said.

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"As a normal human being, I am not flawless but believe me, that the accusations against me and my family are not all true", he said.

1MDB is being investigated in at least six countries for alleged money laundering and graft.

The allegations of massive corruption were a major factor behind the shock election loss by Najib's long-ruling coalition to a reformist alliance headed by his former mentor, Mahathir Mohamad.

Mr Mahathir pledged to re-open the investigation and Mr Najib was banned from leaving Malaysia.

SRC International was a subsidiary of 1MDB, and was placed under the jurisdiction of the Finance Ministry in 2012.

In a related development, the Malaysian Bar Association said the task force probing the1MDB scandal has no legal standing to order the arrest of the former premier.

Earlier Tuesday, the anti-corruption agency questioned Riza Aziz, Najib's stepson and a Hollywood film producer, as it stepped up its probe on 1MDB. "I have not had a chance to defend myself", he said.

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