Malaysia fines Najib's brother, others for receiving 1MDB funds

Mr Nazir Razak, the brother of Malaysia's ousted prime minister Najib Razak, was chairman of the country's second-largest bank, CIMB Group.
Mr Nazir Razak, the brother of Malaysia's ousted prime minister Najib Razak, was chairman of the country's second-largest bank, CIMB Group.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia has fined the brother of former prime minister Najib Razak as well as other people and companies for allegedly receiving money from state fund 1MDB, the country's anti-graft chief said yesterday.

Malaysian and US investigators say about US$4.5 billion (S$6.2 billion) was misappropriated from the now-defunct state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), set up in 2009 by Najib.

Najib, who lost a general election last year, is facing dozens of graft and money-laundering charges over allegations that he received about US$1 billion in 1MDB funds.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Ms Latheefa Koya, the head of Malaysia's Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), said RM420 million (S$138 million) was received by a total of 80 individuals and entities from 1MDB.

"We have issued compound notices against all of these people and entities... to pay the fine," she told reporters, adding that the parties involved could be fined up to 2.5 times the amount received.

She said those targeted have two weeks to pay the fines or face possible prosecution.

The individuals include Najib's brother Nazir Razak, the former chairman of Malaysia's second-largest bank, CIMB Group, and Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, the former chairman of state palm oil agency Felda and also a minister in Najib's Cabinet.

Datuk Seri Nazir had received about RM25.7 million in cheques from 1MDB, Ms Latheefa said. Mr Nazir did not respond to a request for comment, while Mr Shahrir declined to comment.

  • $6.2b

  • Amount that Malaysian and US investigators say was misappropriated from state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, set up in 2009 by Najib Razak.

Funds were also distributed to companies, political parties and organisations linked to Najib's then-ruling coalition, a list provided by the MACC showed.

"It's not exhaustive, we have more," Ms Latheefa said. Investigations have been opened into the 80 entities and people.

After winning last year's election, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's administration reopened 1MDB investigations, charged dozens of high-ranked officials as well as filed civil forfeiture actions in a bid to recover money linked to the state fund.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2019, with the headline 'Malaysia fines Najib's brother, others for receiving 1MDB funds'. Print Edition | Subscribe