KUALA LUMPUR • The wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak is expected to be charged soon with as many as 20 counts of money laundering in a case linked to troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the New Straits Times (NST) said yesterday.
The daily said investigators had "tied up all the loose ends" in their probe into Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, 66.
She was questioned by investigators from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in June as part of its probe into SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.
Najib was charged in July with criminal breach of trust and abuse of power relating to RM42 million (S$14 million) allegedly transferred from SRC International to his personal bank account. He pleaded not guilty and was granted bail.
Last month, he was hit with additional charges of money laundering for the same fund transfer, to which he also pleaded not guilty.
He and his wife have been barred from leaving Malaysia after his decade in power ended in a shock election defeat in May and the new Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, relaunched an investigation into the 1MDB scandal.
Citing sources privy to the investigation of Madam Rosmah, NST said she could face up to 20 criminal charges, mostly linked to money laundering.
One of the charges, the NST report said, relates to the purchase of just over RM1 million worth of hormone-based anti-ageing products from the United States.
The report said Madam Rosmah was interviewed by MACC in June because investigators believed that SRC funds were allegedly used to purchase the oral dietary supplements.
These supplements are said to be able to enhance growth hormone levels by over 600 per cent. NST cited fans of the products as saying they felt more energetic, had better sleep, increased sex drive, lower body fat, increased lean muscle mass and better skin complexion after taking the supplements.
Sources cited by NST said a cheque for more than RM1 million was made out to a doctor with the honorific "Datuk" in February 2015 to buy two sets of medication worth in excess of RM500,000 each.
The account number on the cheque issued to the doctor was similar to that of an AmIslamic account allegedly linked to Najib.
The account was believed to have been closed weeks after the payment was made.