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Monday, June 25, 2018

Najib tops list of 1000 being investigated for money laundering

MALAYSIA'S biggest money laundering probe began last week, with some 1,000 names being investigated, including former prime minister Najib Razak, his wife, Rosmah Mansor, and the wider Razak clan, sources said.

The list includes a number of Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians suspected to have been paid with the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) monies found in Najib's bank accounts, top civil servants, businessmen and lawyers.

"It is a long, long list. The usual suspects and a host of family members, relatives, politicians, top civil servants, etc... almost 1,000 names," said a lawyer familiar with the probe.

The Malaysian Insight learned that the police have written to all financial institutions in the country to get information under Section 48 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

Under this section, the public prosecutor can authorise investigators to obtain information on banking records, shares, expense accounts, inspect the contents of any safe deposit box and request any other kind of information.

"This isn't a case of getting warrants. This is the authorities having the power to summon bankers and asking for the information," said another source.

It is understood that the list of those being investigated is similar to the list of those who had received money from Najib's five AmBank Islamic banking accounts in a series of transactions in late 2014.

Some of the lawyers being investigated have acted in several suits for Najib as well as for Umno when Najib was party president and prime minister.

Among those who have admitted to receiving money from Najib are his brother, Nazir, who is CIMB Group chairman, and former Felda chairman Shahrir Samad.

Whistleblower site Sarawak Report reported in August 2015 that Shahrir received RM1 million after the 2013 general election while then Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan received a cheque for RM2 million.

Najib, who has denied any wrongdoing, is now under investigation by a slew of authorities, including the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), for offences related to the 1MDB scandal.

He has also denied any knowledge of money from 1MDB unit SRC International turning up in his bank accounts, saying the accounts were handled by Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, who was SRC International chief executive.

The recent turn of events came after BN's shocking and historic defeat in the May 9 polls to Pakatan Harapan led by Najib's mentor-turned-nemesis Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Mahathir is prime minister again 15 years after stepping down from the job, and he has not lost any time pursuing those involved in the 1MDB scheme, which has cost Malaysia some RM53 billion. – June 25, 2018.

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