Malaysia's former PM Najib charged with three counts of money laundering


The prosecution today amended its initial criminal and corruption charges against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the High Court here.

Najib, 65, was arrested last month and pleaded not guilty to abuse of power and three counts of criminal breach of trust.

Najib was charged at the Sessions Court this morning under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act for receiving RM42 million, allegedly from unlawful activities, in his personal bank account.

Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak was hit with new charges Wednesday linked to a multi-billion-dollar financial scandal that contributed to his shock election defeat in May, as supporters chanted "Long live Najib" and his lawyer called the charges "political".

Najib stood calmly in the dock on Wednesday as the charges were read to him.

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A money laundering offence carries a penalty of a jail term of up to 15 years and a fine of at least fives times the value of the proceeds of any illegal transfers, or 5m ringgit, whichever is the higher. Last month he pleaded not guilty to abuse of power and breach of trust charges.

Looking exhausted as he appeared in court, Najib was charged with three counts of money laundering over claims that he pocketed 42 million ringgit ($10.3 million).

The charges are related to 42m ringgit (US$10m).

The yacht which was seized by Indonesian authorities past year, was purchased by Malaysian financier Jho Low in 2014, a close family friend of Najib.

Reopening the investigations into 1MDB after Najib lost power, Malaysian anti-graft officers have revealed how their earlier investigations were obstructed by Najib's government.

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SRC, created in 2011 by Najib's government to pursue overseas investment in energy resources, was a unit of 1MDB until it was moved to the finance ministry in 2012.

Meanwhile, the High Court will hear submissions this Friday on the gag order on the case that was issued earlier and to set trial dates.

He's accused of stealing more than $13 million from a state investment fund, just part of the $4.5 billion USA investigators claim was siphoned from the fund known as 1MDB.

On Tuesday, a luxury yacht allegedly paid for with money stolen from 1MDB arrived outside Kuala Lumpur after being handed over by Indonesian authorities.

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