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Former Malaysian Prime Minister arrested over 1MDB corruption scandal

Former Malaysian Prime Minister arrested over 1MDB corruption scandal

A two-minute pre-recorded video narrated by Datuk Seri Najib Razak emerged on the social media accounts of the former Malaysian prime minister on Tuesday (July 3), claiming his innocence hours after his arrest.

It follows an investigation into how billions of dollars went missing from a state fund - which he founded a decade ago.

Alleged corruption at the 1MDB fund led to the surprise defeat of Najib's coalition in May 9 polls.

This story is developing.

The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) is believed to have received funds from 1MDB, which is the subject of money laundering probes in at least six countries.

Najib, as Malaysia's prime minister, wielded significant power over the state's institutions and quashed an investigation into misappropriation of 1MDB funds.

Most recently, his stepson Riza Aziz was also called into the MACC's headquarters today for questioning relating to the scandal.

The authorities picked up Mr. Najib from his home after serving him with a remand order, two sources close to the family said.

Najib and his cronies were accused of plundering billions of dollars from the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund to buy everything from United States real estate to artworks. He is due to be charged in court on Wednesday morning.

TRT World spoke with Zan Azlee in Kuala Lumpur for more details.

A 1MDB taskforce set up by the government this week said 408 bank accounts involving funds of almost 1.1 billion ringgit had been frozen.

Civil lawsuits filed by the US Department of Justice allege that almost US$4.5 billion ($6.7 billion) was misappropriated from 1MDB.

Red Granite agreed in March to pay the U.S. government $60m to settle claims it benefited from the 1MDB scandal. That includes real estate, art and proceeds from "The Wolf of Wall Street", which was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio.

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