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Najib Charged with Money Laundering

Image credit: New Straits Times

Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has been charged with three new charges under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001. Speculation on these charges started after he was summoned to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Academy yesterday afternoon, where he was told of his charges. The charges were read out before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali in Malay, following which Najib pleaded not guilty.

Najib, who was also the former Finance Minister, was charged under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001. The first count involves RM27 million, the second RM5 million, and the third count involves RM10 million. These are in relation to SRC International, where Najib received the RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million separately via his AmIslamic Bank account between Dec 26, 2014 and Feb 10, 2015.

If found guilty, Najib will face a maximum jail term of 15 years and a fine of RM5 million, or a minimum of five times the value of the unlawful proceeds at the time the offence was committed, depending on whichever sum is higher.

On July 4, Najib was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) under Section 409 of the Penal Code, where he would face a jail term from two to 20 years, and a fine if found guilty. He is also being charged under Section 23 of the MACC Act for offence of using office or position for gratification and faces imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years and a fine of not less than five times of the sum involved if found guilty.

According to The Star Online, the prosecution team led by Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria applied to have Najib’s case heard together with previous charges before another High Court. The defence, led by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, agreed that the move was sensible, saying these charges are subsidiary to the earlier predicated offences.

The prosecution sought for the bail of the two previous cases to be extended to today’s money-laundering case. The trial date is expected to be determined by the court this Friday, after the hearing on Najib’s application for a media gag order, also scheduled for Friday.

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