Hong Kong police probing claim of bank deposits linked to Najib

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak addresses the nation in a National Day message in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur on Aug 30, 2015.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak addresses the nation in a National Day message in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur on Aug 30, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Malaysian govt dismisses latest allegations made by former Umno member as 'politically motivated lies'

KUALA LUMPUR • Hong Kong police are investigating bank deposits that a complainant claimed were linked to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, police said yesterday, as a probe into troubled state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) widens.
 

The investigation comes as another blow to Datuk Seri Najib, who chairs the advisory board of 1MDB , after the Swiss authorities froze millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts linked to the investment firm on suspicion of corruption and money laundering.

Malaysian investigators are also looking into 1MDB, which has racked up RM42 billion (S$13.7 billion) in debt that has weighed on the country's economy.

Mr Najib has denied taking any money from 1MDB or any other entity for personal gain. The Malaysian government dismissed the latest allegations about bank deposits as politically motivated.

Hong Kong police confirmed they were probing a matter that a complainant had linked to Mr Najib.

REQUEST FOR POLICE PROBE

A man reported to the police on Aug 30 and requested the police's investigation on some bank deposits.

HONG KONG POLICE, in a statement. The complaint was lodged by former Umno member Khairuddin Abu Hassan, who was sacked from the ruling party earlier this year. 

BASELESS ALLEGATIONS

The Prime Minister does not control any Credit Suisse bank accounts in Hong Kong, whether in his name or the name of the companies mentioned.

 A SPOKESMAN FOR THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT

"A man reported to the police on Aug 30 and requested the police's investigation on some bank deposits," Hong Kong police said in a statement in response to a question about an investigation into Mr Najib. "Investigations by Crime Headquarters are under way."

The complaint was lodged by former Umno member Khairuddin Abu Hassan, who was sacked from the ruling party earlier this year.

Datuk Seri Khairuddin told Reuters he said in the report that deposits of more than US$250 million (S$353 million) were made into a Credit Suisse bank account in Hong Kong through four companies linked to Mr Najib.

A spokesman for the Malaysian government dismissed the latest allegations as "baseless and politically motivated lies". "The Prime Minister does not control any Credit Suisse bank accounts in Hong Kong, whether in his name or the name of the companies mentioned," the spokesman said.

The spokesman called the complaint a bid to smear Mr Najib and accused Mr Khairuddin of working with former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is leading a campaign to oust Mr Najib.

"The Prime Minister has instructed for the full range of legal options to be explored - particularly the manufacturing of banking documents by certain individuals with malicious intent to smear and discredit a serving prime minister," the spokesman added.

A spokesman for Credit Suisse in Hong Kong declined to comment.

Mr Najib is facing the biggest test of his political career following reports earlier this year that investigators looking into 1MDB had traced nearly US$700 million going into bank accounts in Malaysia they believed belonged to the Premier.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2015, with the headline 'HK police probing claim of bank deposits linked to Najib'. Print Edition | Subscribe