Malaysia charges former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng in 1MDB case after extradition delay

A batch of criminal allegations are being brought against Goldman's units, former bankers and former 1MDB employees. The bank has said that it will "vigorously contest" the charges. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - Malaysian prosecutors charged a former Goldman Sachs Group banker on Wednesday (Dec 19), after an oversight earlier in the day delayed his extradition process to the United States.

Roger Ng pleaded not guilty to four counts of abetment of false statements to a financial regulator. Ng didn't show up for his extradition hearing on Wednesday morning as prosecutors weren't aware that his attendance was necessary, Deputy Public Prosecutor Shukor Abu Bakar said, adding a new date has been set for Jan 4.

Ng could be stuck in the middle of a tug-of-war between the US and Malaysia, as he is set to face charges in both countries linked to his involvement in 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) transactions arranged by Goldman. It is unclear how prosecutors on both sides will cooperate on charges relating to Ng and others in a scandal that allegedly saw billions of dollars siphoned from the Malaysian state fund.

Last month, Ng was said to be seeking a review of the order to extradite him to the US, where he would face money laundering and bribery charges linked to troubled state fund 1MDB. Malaysia's attorney-general said on Monday that Ng will "soon" be charged as part of a batch of criminal allegations against Goldman's units, former bankers and former 1MDB employees for his role in alleged false statements made to a financial regulator.

Goldman will "vigorously contest" the charges, which it said came without a chance for the firm to provide its view.

"Certain members of the former Malaysian government and 1MDB lied to Goldman Sachs, outside counsel and others about the use of proceeds from these transactions," the bank said in an e-mailed statement on Monday.

Ng was deputy to Tim Leissner, Goldman's former South-east Asia chairman, who has pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money allegedly siphoned from 1MDB and paying bribes to Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials.

In November, Ng and his family had agreed to surrender about S$40 million to the authorities in neighbouring Singapore, who would then repatriate the funds to Malaysia, according to people familiar with the matter.

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