Malaysia 1MDB scandal: Ex-PM Najib Razak arrested

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International desk, July 3: Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been arrested by anti-corruption authorities and is due to be charged on Wednesday.Mr Najib, who has long been plagued by allegations of corruption, has been accused of pocketing $700m (£517m) from state development fund 1MDB.

Billions of dollars are unaccounted for from the fund, set up by Mr Najib.

He has been under investigation since his shock election loss in May. Mr Najib denies wrongdoing.

Two sources close to Mr Najib’s family told Reuters that authorities picked him up from his home after serving him a remand order.

He is expected to be charged in court on Wednesday.

Raids in recent weeks have been carried out across properties linked to Mr Najib. Police say they recovered $273m in luxury goods and cash.

Mr Najib has always denied the corruption charges and had been cleared by Malaysian authorities while in power, but he is being investigated by several other countries.

He has been banned from leaving Malaysia.

Alleged corruption at the 1MDB fund helped bring on the unexpected defeat of Najib’s coalition in the May 9 polls. The new government reopened investigations that were stifled while Najib was in office.

Riza was solemn as he arrived at the anti-graft office and didn’t speak to reporters.

US investigators say Riza’s company, Red Granite Pictures Inc, used money stolen from 1MDB to finance Hollywood films including the Martin Scorsese-directed The Wolf of Wall Street.

Red Granite agreed in March to pay the US government $60m to settle claims it benefited from the 1MDB scandal.

Source: Agencies