Najib's wife arrested over activities linked to money laundering

Madam Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, arriving at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday. It was her third visit to the anti-graft agency since June. She is expected to be
Madam Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, arriving at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday. It was her third visit to the anti-graft agency since June. She is expected to be charged in court today under the anti-money laundering Act, said a source.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

She is detained overnight after over 4 hours of questioning

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, has been arrested by graftbusters for allegedly receiving and transferring funds obtained from money-laundering activities.

It was the first time the wife of a former Malaysian prime minister had been arrested.

Madam Rosmah, 66, was detained at 3.20pm at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday, after more than four hours of questioning.

It was her third visit to the MACC since June. She was at the MACC headquarters for about five hours then.

When she last visited the MACC on Sept 25, she was at its headquarters for 13 hours.

"She will be spending the night in the lock-up," a source told The Straits Times, after the arrest yesterday.

The source added that Madam Rosmah is expected to be charged today at Kuala Lumpur's Sessions Court under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, the same day her husband Najib's criminal charges are set for case management.

According to a statement by the MACC, Madam Rosmah will be brought to the court at 8am.

She was interrogated yesterday for the third time as part of its probe into SRC International, a former subsidiary of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

The development fund, which was started by Najib in 2009 soon after he became prime minister, is at the centre of investigations by several countries - including the United States and Singapore - for alleged misappropriation of billions of dollars.

In the case involving Madam Rosmah, investigators believe funds from SRC International may have been used to purchase more than RM1 million (S$332,000) worth of hormone-based anti-ageing products from the US.

Media reports say the police were expected to call Madam Rosmah soon for questioning over pieces of jewellery seized during raids by the authorities in May on several premises linked to Najib.

Two jewellers are seeking the return of 47 pieces of jewellery that were delivered to Madam Rosmah, but which they said had not been paid for.

One is Lebanon-based jeweller Global Royalty Trading, which filed a suit against her in a Kuala Lumpur court seeking the return of 44 pieces of jewellery valued at more than US$14 million (S$19.3 million), The Star newspaper said.

The other, Dubai-based Adi Hasan Al Fardan Jewellery, wants back its two necklaces and an earring set totalling US$5 million.

Earlier yesterday, Najib was separately interviewed by the police at a different location.

He arrived at the police's Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Prevention office in Kuala Lumpur at 9.40am to have his statement recorded for the fourth time. He left after three hours.

Najib faces 32 charges involving criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power. These include charges related to RM42 million allegedly paid by SRC International into his bank accounts.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2018, with the headline 'Najib's wife arrested over activities linked to money laundering'. Print Edition | Subscribe