Najib’s wife arrested on corruption charges

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Kuala Lumpur, Oct 3 (IANS) The wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was arrested on Wednesday on money-laundering charges related to a corruption scandal.

Rosmah Mansor, 66, was arrested by Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and will face several money laundering charges, Efe news reported citing a statement.

This was Rosmah’s third appearance in front of commission after she was interrogated on June 5 and September 26.

She was questioned over the alleged diversion of funds from the state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund to the couple’s private accounts.

Her husband was also questioned by the police on Wednesday, having been released on bail last Friday after being charged with 25 fresh charges of money-laundering and abuse of power.

Najib, 65, has been charged with 32 counts of corruption in 1MDB, which he founded in 2009 and presided over till 2016.

A news report in 2015 alleged that Najib had diverted $681 million from 1MDb into his personal account.

He denied the allegations, saying the money was a donation from a Saudi prince. He was cleared by Malaysian authorities while in power.

The case was reopened after a change in government in May and new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad banned his predecessor and wife from leaving the country pending an investigation.

Six other countries, including the US, Switzerland and Singapore, opened probes into the embezzlement and diversion of funds from the 1MDB, a fund established to attract foreign investment which accumulated a debt of 42 billion ringgit (around $10 billion).

The US Department of Justice estimated that about $4.5 billion were diverted from 1MDB, of which about $1 billion could have been laundered in the US through the purchase of real estate, yachts, jewellery and works of art, among other goods.



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