The fund at the center of a scandal in Malaysia

The fund at the center of a scandal in Malaysia

The fund at the center of a scandal in Malaysia

Set up in 2009 by then-Prime Minister Najib Razak to promote foreign investment in Malaysia, the 1MDB fund drew attention when quickly amassed an estimated $11 billion in debt.

On Aug 24, Jho Low and his father, Low Hock Peng, were charged in absentia at the Putrajaya Sessions Court with embezzling funds said to be stolen from 1MDB.

Low, said to be a central figure behind the alleged embezzlement of billions of dollars from 1MDB, reached out as recently as last week, Daim Zainuddin told broadcaster Astro Awani. Police in Malaysia said in July that Low had fled Macau to an unknown destination.

Roger Ng, the other charged former Goldman banker, was arrested in Malaysia at the request of US authorities and is expected to be extradited, according to John Marzulli, a spokesman for the prosecution.

Low, who remains at large, issued a statement through a spokesman maintaining his innocence.

A friend of Najib's stepson Riza Aziz, Low had no official role at 1MDB but had considerable influence over its dealings and was often in contact with Najib, according to the Justice Department, U.S. authorities have said. His wife, Rosmah Mansor, has been charged with money laundering.

Two former Goldman Sachs investment bankers were charged Thursday with helping to raise money for a Malaysian investment fund that has lost $4 billion, according to federal prosecutors.

Charges under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act have also been filed against Jho Low and his father Tan Sri Larry Low at the Sessions Court in Putrajaya last August, relating to the movement of several hundred million USA dollars in the BSI Bank in Singapore. It was not known who was representing Mr. Ng. Other funds were used for the personal benefit of defendants, including purchases of luxury US real estate and art.

The Department of Justice alleges the men participated in a scheme that stole billions of dollars from Malaysia's development fund, 1MDB. The company, which earned $600m in fees stemming from its work with 1MDB, has in the past denied wrongdoing and said it was co-operating with the investigation. He denies any wrongdoing.

At least six countries, including Malaysia, the United States and Switzerland, have been investigating alleged thefts from 1MDB.

Former leader Mahathir Mohamad, outraged over the scandal, came out of retirement and the opposition united behind him in the national elections, leading to Najib's ouster in May.

Numerous charges - multiple counts of corruption, money laundering and criminal breach of trust - are linked to 1MDB. Working with the FBI, Indonesian authorities seized Low's $250 million luxury yacht Equanimity off Bali in February and Malaysia's government is now auctioning it.

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