Najib's stepson and new Umno chief assist in 1MDB probe

Film producer Riza Aziz, stepson of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, arriving at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya yesterday to give his statement. Sources said Mr Riza is expected to, among other things, address allega
Film producer Riza Aziz, stepson of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, arriving at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya yesterday to give his statement. Sources said Mr Riza is expected to, among other things, address allegations that funds misappropriated from 1MDB were used to finance several Hollywood movies.PHOTOS: EPA-EFE
New Umno chief Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was at the anti-graft agency for a second day, to assist in a related 1MDB probe.
New Umno chief Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was at the anti-graft agency for a second day, to assist in a related 1MDB probe.

PUTRAJAYA • Mr Riza Aziz, the stepson of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak arrived at the anti-graft agency headquarters yesterday afternoon to have his statement recorded.

The 48-year-old film producer arrived at 1.30pm to help in the probe into troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Clad in a dark suit and yellow shirt, he was accompanied by his lawyer M. Kumaraendran.

Mr Riza was at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) at the same time that new Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was also at the agency for the second day to give a statement on a related 1MDB investigation.

And separately, Datuk Seri Najib was yesterday arrested by the anti-graft body and taken to the same building.

Sources at the MACC said Mr Riza is expected to, among other things, address allegations that funds misappropriated from 1MDB were used to finance several Hollywood movies.

Malaysia's 1MDB task force is moving quickly to map the extent of wrongdoing at the state fund, freezing more than 400 bank accounts involving RM1.1 billion (S$371 million) and issuing arrest warrants, including for Mr Riza's friend Low Taek Jho.

Mr Riza is co-founder of Hollywood film production company, Red Granite Pictures, which produced The Wolf Of Wall Street, among other movies. In the United States, his production company had reached a US$60 million (S$82 million) settlement in a suit that alleged the movie was funded by money siphoned from 1MDB.

Malaysia's 1MDB task force is moving quickly to map the extent of wrongdoing at the state fund, freezing more than 400 bank accounts involving RM1.1 billion (S$371 million) and issuing arrest warrants, including for Mr Riza's friend Low Taek Jho.

In addition, the police have seized cash, handbags and jewellery valued at more than RM1 billion as part of the investigation.

Combined, that still falls short of the US$4.5 billion that the US Department of Justice claims was embezzled from the fund.

Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Zahid was on Monday grilled for eight hours at the MACC regarding its probe into troubled state fund 1MDB, specifically on his purported meeting in 2015 with a member of the Saudi royal family who is said to have donated money to Mr Najib.

Mr Zahid was at the MACC yesterday to assist in a probe into an Islamic charity foundation which he chairs. MACC is looking into allegations that RM800,000 of the foundation's funds were used to pay off Mr Zahid and his wife's credit card bills.

BLOOMBERG, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2018, with the headline 'Najib's stepson and new Umno chief assist in 1MDB probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe