Wife of former Malaysian PM arrested

Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, was arrested on October 3 by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Wife of former Malaysian PM arrested

According to her lawyer K. Kumaraendran, she was arrested while giving her statement at the MACC headquarters over a corruption probe at state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). She will be charged with money laundering, said the lawyer.

Rosmah, 66, has long been in the public eye for flaunting a range of Hermes Birkin handbags and showy jewellery, spending thousands of dollars in shopping sprees around the world. Her lavish lifestyle has raised public suspicions over her involvement in the case.

The Malaysian authorities said the total market value of luxury watches, jewellery, high-end handbags, and cash seized at properties linked to Najib amounted to 372 million USD.

On the same day, Najib was questioned by the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Prevention Unit (AMLA) for three hours. He was asked about the 1MDB fund and his financial transactions since 2011. 

After questioning, he left the AMLA headquarters through an alternative exit to dodge the assembled media. This has been reported as the fourth time he has been called to give his statement to facilitate the investigation.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was charged on September 20 with money laundering and abuse of power in connection to the 1MDB case. The charges include four counts of abuse of power regarding an amount of 2.3 billion ringgit (556.3 million USD) and 21 counts of money laundering. 

However, he pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Najib founded the 1MDB investment fund in 2009, supposedly to serve Malaysia’s development through global partnerships and foreign direct investment. However, it became the centre of a money laundering scandal, allegedly causing losses of up to 3.7 billion USD and leading to probes into the financial markets in several countries such as the US, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia, and China.

He was arrested in July after being charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust in his former posts as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, in association with the transfer of 42 million ringgit, or 10 million USD, from SRC International Sdn Bhd to his personal bank accounts between August 2011 and March 2015. 

Najib was later freed after paying a bail of 250,000 USD.–VNA

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