PM Najib is ‘Malaysian official 1’ named in DOJ probe, says minister – CNBC

PM Najib is ‘Malaysian official 1’ named in DOJ probe, says minister

The “Malaysian official 1,” named 32 times in the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit seeking to recover assets allegedly funneled away from troubled state fund 1MDB, is Prime Minister Najib Razak, a senior government official said.

Abdul Rahman Dahlan, a minister in the prime minister’s department and strategic communications director for political coalition Barisan Nasional, said in a statement on Thursday evening: “It’s obvious that the so-called ‘Malaysian Official 1’ (MO1) referred to by the U.S. Department of Justice is our prime minister.”

The statement confirmed a BBC report earlier Thursday citing Rahman’s comments in an interview.

Rahman’s statement noted that Malaysian official 1 was only referred to in the civil suit, not named as a subject, calling the difference “black and white.” Rahman blamed Najib’s political opponents for “deliberately mixing the two up to deceive the Malaysian people.”

He claimed “comprehensive investigations by multiple authorities” have cleared Najib of wrongdoing.

You can read the full BBC report here.

In July, the U.S. Department of Justice moved to seize more than $1 billion of assets tied to an alleged international conspiracy to launder funds funnelled away from 1MDB, including funds related to the film “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

That complaint said officials at 1MDB, their relatives and other associates diverted more than $3.5 billion from the state fund and laundered it through complex transactions and shell companies with bank accounts in Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the U.S.

The producer of “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Red Granite Pictures, was co-founded by Riza Aziz, Najib’s stepson.

Riza was named as a “relevant individual” in the complaint, but Najib wasn’t named. However, media have reported, citing unnamed sources, that the complaint’s 32 references to “Malaysian Official 1,” who allegedly received hundreds of millions from 1MDB, were to Najib.

PM Najib is ‘Malaysian official 1’ named in DOJ probe, says minister
Leslie Shaffer
1 Sep 2016 – CNBC


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