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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 July 2018

Former Malaysian leader Najib Razak arrested by anti-graft officials over 1MDB scandal

Police seized $273m in high-value goods last week

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak has been arrested in a corruption probe. File. Olivia Harris / Reuters
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak has been arrested in a corruption probe. File. Olivia Harris / Reuters

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been arrested by anti-corruption investigators in connection with an inquiry into how billions of dollars went missing from the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state investment fund he founded almost a decade ago.

Police raided properties linked to Mr Razak this week, seizing almost $273 million in high-value goods, including jewellery, watches and handbags.

The former premier was detained at his home and taken to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's headquarters, according to agency sources. He is expected to be charged on Wednesday following a night in custody.

Mr Najib was interrogated in May by Malaysia's Anti-Corruption Commission following his defeat in May 9 general elections. The 1MDB scandal contributed to Mr Razak's defeat in the elections.

The new government reopened the investigations after they were stifled while Mr Razak was in office. The former prime minister was barred from leaving the country shortly after the election.

Malaysia's anti-corruption agency is also questioning the former premier's stepson Riza Aziz, who is a Hollywood film producer.

US investigators allege Mr Aziz's company used money stolen from 1MDB to finance Hollywood films including Martin Scorsese's film The Wolf of Wall Street.

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