Monday, 12 November, 2018

Malaysia to sell bling seized in ex-PM's probe

The investigators believe that the fund originated from proceeds of 1MDB’s bonds issued in 2012 and 2013. — Reuters pic Malaysia to sell bling seized in ex-PM's probe
Patty Aguilar | 03 July, 2018, 18:10

Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak speaks to Reuters during an interview in Langkawi, Malaysia Thomson Reuters KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's anti-graft agency has frozen bank accounts of the political party once led by former premier Najib Razak as part of its probe into beleaguered state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd, media reported on Friday.

Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has an appointment today with Malaysia's anti-graft investigators, who are keen to seek his explanation on the alleged use of funds belonging to a foundation, sources told The Star newspaper. Police have also seized jewelry and valuables valued at more than 1.1 billion ringgit ($272 million) from properties linked to Najib.

The party is set to hold an election for party president on Saturday, after Najib stepped down as UMNO chief following the election defeat. The National Front coalition that UMNO headed has since broken up after many component parties left.

"I just finished giving my statement to the MACC surrounding the issue of 1MDB, and from what I understand, questioning that involves me is complete", said the newly elected Umno president. The new government has reopened investigations into 1MDB that were stifled under Najib's rule and has banned Najib and his wife from leaving the country.

Cash in 26 currencies was confiscated, besides 25 bags of gold, 12,000 items of jewellery, 567 luxury handbags, 423 watches and 234 sunglasses in the largest seizure in the probe so far, authorities said.

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Civil lawsuits filed by the US Department of Justice allege that almost $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB.

Najib has said the money was for election purposes and that it came from "genuine donations".

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had been interviewed for almost six hours by the MACC in its investigation into a former subsidiary of 1MDB.

"I think he will be brought to the court soon", Mahathir was quoted as saying on an official visit to Jakarta.

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