MALAYSIA: After a judge in Kuala Lumpur dismissed his final appeal on Tuesday, Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak will be imprisoned for his involvement in the multibillion-dollar 1MDB scam.
Malaysia’s multibillion dollar scam
Najib Razak led the country from 2009 to 2018. Later, he was found guilty in 2020 of accusations including money laundering and misuse of authority. He will now start serving a 12-year prison term. Najib has continuously denied guilt, but a five-judge bench at the High Court on Tuesday rejected his last resort of appeal.
Prosecutors claimed that he and his allies used the former sovereign wealth fund as a personal “piggybank” to support their extravagant lifestyles and finance election campaigns.
Prosecutors said that he and his associates used payments from SRC International, a division of the former sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
A 210 million Malaysian ringgit ($46.94 million) fine was also issued to the former prime minister.
In 2009, shortly after Najib gained power, the 1MDB fund was established. With the proclaimed goal of leading “market-driven” initiatives to help and support the government in moving Malaysia towards becoming a developed nation that is highly competitive, sustainable, and inclusive.
Instead, 1MDB was allegedly utilized as a slush fund by Najib and other senior staff members at the fund, claim US authorities. According to authorities, millions of dollars in taxpayer funds were stolen and channelled out of the nation.
Goldman Sachs, which made available a significant proportion of the 1MDB fund’s financing and was a target of numerous criminal and regulatory investigations in the country, reached a $3.9 billion settlement with that nation’s government in 2020.