Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Najib ‘to face further charges’



Najib ‘to face further charges’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Equanimity, the luxury yacht involved in the 1MDB controversy that has engulfed Najib Razak, arrives in Malaysia on Tuesday. AFP

Najib ‘to face further charges’

Malaysia’s disgraced ex-leader Najib Razak was set to face further questioning on Tuesday by the country’s anti-corruption agency and will be hit with more criminal charges, official media reported.

Najib, who unexpectedly lost power in elections in May, was arrested and charged last month with three counts of criminal breach of trust. He was also separately charged with abusing his position to pocket 42 million ringgit ($10.3 million).

Malaysia’s new government is probing the disappearance of billions of dollars from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, which was set up and overseen by Najib.

The former leader, his family and cronies are accused of embezzling huge sums that were used to buy everything from artwork to high-end real estate in a sophisticated fraud that spanned the globe.

The graft allegations were a major factor in the defeat of Najib’s long-ruling coalition by a reformist alliance headed by 93-year-old political heavyweight Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib was due to be questioned at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission later in the afternoon, official news agency Bernama reported.

He will be slapped with three additional charges related to money-laundering when he appears in court Wednesday, Bernama reported. They are linked to SRC International, an energy company that was originally a subsidiary of 1MDB, it said.

According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, $10.6 million originating from SRC was transferred to Najib’s personal bank accounts. The first charges against Najib also related to SRC.

Najib has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

Shortly after his downfall, a treasure trove of valuables was seized in raids on properties linked to Najib and his family – including cash, jewellery and luxury handbags – worth up to $273 million.

‘Delicate negotiations’

Meanwhile, a luxury yacht allegedly paid for with funds from a multibillion-dollar scandal that helped topple Malaysia’s government arrived outside Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, with authorities hoping it will help in their prosecution of the country’s disgraced former leader.

The 300-foot (90-metre) Equanimity, equipped with pool, helicopter landing pad and cinema, belonged to Jho Low, a flamboyant international financier who allegedly played a central role in the 1MDB controversy that has engulfed former prime minister Razak.

The yacht – worth about $250 million – was handed over by Indonesian authorities who had seized it off the tourist island of Bali in February.

The large, blue and white boat arrived in Port Klang, west of the capital, after setting sail from the Indonesian island of Batam. It was accompanied by a Malaysian navy frigate and three smaller vessels.

A large team of officials was seen entering the yacht.

Malaysia’s attorney-general welcomed the boat being turned over, and said that “sensitive and delicate negotiations” had taken place between Malaysia, Indonesia and the US to ensure it happened.

Indonesian authorities impounded the boat on a request from the US Department of Justice, which is seeking to seize $1.7 billion of assets allegedly bought with money looted from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.