Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Malaysia's former PM Najib to be charged with money laundering

Malaysia's former PM Najib to be charged with money laundering

Ties between Malaysia and Indonesia are close with Mahathir visiting Jakarta in June, his first official tour of the region after a stunning election victory in May over Najib.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has thanked Indonesian President Joko Widodo and the Indonesian government for their assistance in handing over to Malaysia the "Equanimity" which the Indonesian authorities had seized.

Malaysian Attorney General Tommy Thomas said in a statement that the yacht was brought to Malaysia after legal treaties between Indonesia, the United States and Malaysia were activated.

Najib said the government should now remain focused on finding ways to repay the huge debt still owed to International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC), instead of trying to sell the yacht off to the highest bidder.

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Those assets include the 300-foot (90-metre) yacht bought by Low, who was an unofficial adviser to 1MDB.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been summoned by the anti-corruption agency for another round of questioning and will face new charges in relation to money-laundering and anti-terrorism financing, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said on Tuesday.

The suits allege US$1.7 billion worth of assets were allegedly bought with the stolen funds, which U.S. officials are seeking to recover.

The 300-foot (90-metre) Equanimity, equipped with pool, helicopter landing pad and cinema, belonged to Jho Low, a flamboyant worldwide financier who allegedly played a central role in the 1MDB controversy that has engulfed former prime minister Najib Razak.

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Earlier today, the US$250 million superyacht Equanimity, which authorities alleged is acquired by fugitive Low Taek Jho using 1MDB funds, arrived at Port Klang from Indonesia.

Low has previously denied any wrongdoing. This was followed by a warrant of arrest issued by Malaysia's High court on Monday that led to the handover, he said.

It is not yet known what the Malaysian government will do with the yacht, but Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told reporters on Monday that the public should have a chance to view it before it is put on auction.

Malaysian and global authorities want to question Malaysian financier Jho Low, who the Justice Department alleges was a key figure in the theft and worldwide laundering of US$4.5 billion from 1MDB.

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