Malaysian ex-PM Najib charged with money laundering

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Malaysian ex-PM Najib charged with money laundering

Appearing at a court in Kuala Lumpur, Najib was charged with three counts of money-laundering over claims he pocketed 42 million ringgit (342 million baht) from a former unit of scandal-hit sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

In July, Najib was charged at the High Court here on three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and one charge under the MACC Act, in his capacity as prime minister, finance minister and adviser emeritus of SRC International, in which he was entrusted with the RM4 billion.

As the charges were read out in a packed courtroom in Kuala Lumpur, Razak responded: "I understand".

Each of the three money-laundering charges carried a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to five times of the ill-gotten wealth.

The new government reopened the investigations stifled under Mr Najib's rule and barred him and his wife from leaving the country. Last month he pleaded not guilty to abuse of power and breach of trust charges.

Najib Razak leaves the court complex after pleading not guilty to three additional charges of money laundering.

All the charges relate to SRC International, an energy company that was originally a subsidiary of 1MDB.

It sailed into the Malaysian port a day after Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad thanked Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo for agreeing to hand it over to Malaysian officials.

The case was earlier heard before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi, who allowed the prosecution's application to transfer the case to the High Court.

"He will be charged under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (Amla) 2001", said the MACC.

Najib and his allies are accused of plundering billions of dollars from 1MDB to buy everything from U.S. real estate to artworks.

Police also seized jewellery and valuables valued at more than 1.1 billion ringgit (£208m) from properties linked to Mr Najib.

The new investigation into 1MDB began after his shock election loss in May.

On Tuesday, a luxury yacht that was allegedly procured using stolen money from 1MDB was returned to the Malaysian government.

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