Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak to be charged with money laundering

Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak to be charged with money laundering

Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak to be charged with money laundering

In a Facebook video, Mahathir thanked Indonesia's government and President Joko Widodo for returning the US$250 million (AUD$337 m) yacht, Equanimity, which was seized by Indonesia off Bali in February in cooperation with the US FBI. U.S. investigators said Low bought the yacht with proceeds diverted from 1MDB. Indonesia then agreed it would hand over the yacht to Malaysia.

Low, who has so far evaded arrest, issued a statement through his USA attorney on Monday protesting the handover of the yacht as an "illegal act" for ignoring court proceedings in the United States.

Low has previously denied any wrongdoing.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that the cancellation of the Saudi Arabia-backed King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) by Putrajaya would offend the kingdom. The country's anti-corruption authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Jho Low.

A spokesman for the prime minister's office said the yacht would arrive in Port Klang, west of the capital Kuala Lumpur, within the next 48 hours.

"At the end of the day, the yacht must be sold off" so that Malaysia can recover as much money as possible from it, Lim said.

The fund, founded by Najib, is at the center of money-laundering probes in at least six countries, including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore.

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After questioning Najib Tuesday for 45 minutes, the anti-graft agency said he would be charged under the anti-money laundering law in relation to SRC International, an energy company that used to be a subsidiary of 1MDB.

The government has said it plans to open the Equanimity to public viewing, before eventually selling it off.

Lim said Malaysia's attorney-general was expected to issue a statement on Tuesday regarding the status of the yacht and address concerns that it could affect investigations by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ).

Najib set up 1MDB when he took power in 2009, but it accumulated billions in debts.

Civil lawsuits filed by the DOJ listed a total of US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates.

Malaysia is trying to recover up to $1.7 billion in assets, including the yacht, that the DoJ has alleged were bought with stolen 1MDB funds.

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