• Micheal Williams

1MDB Embezzlement, Money Laundering scandal: RIZA AZIZ (step-son of former PM Najib Razak) was given

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

Former prime minister Najib Razak’s step-son, Riza Aziz, who was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal on five counts of money laundering amounting to US$248 million (RM1 billion), has fulfilled almost all the terms of an agreement with the prosecution, sources said.

“He has substantially complied with the terms. The US Department of Justice has to effect the sale of properties (in the US) and send the proceeds to the Malaysian government,” said a source with knowledge of the matter.

The source said it was not necessary for the prosecution to update the Sessions Court as it was up to the discretion of the attorney-general to institute or discontinue a case.

On May 14, judge Azman Ahmad allowed the discharge not amounting to an acquittal after ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram told the court this arrangement was subject to the Hollywood producer fulfilling his side of the bargain.

“An agreement has arrived between the prosecution and the accused under the terms of which the federal government will receive a substantial sum running into several million ringgit,” he said, reading from a prepared statement.

Sri Ram said the sum referred directly to the subject matter of the charges framed.

The court also allowed the return of the RM1 million bail posted by Riza’s two bailors. Since the charges were filed against Riza last year, the producer had made several representations through his lawyers.

He claimed trial to the money laundering charges allegedly involving funds received from Good Star Ltd and Aabar Investments PJS Ltd, where the two companies were said to be linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho (better known as Jho Low).

Riza was accused of receiving the money between April 2011 and November 2012 at City National Bank in Los Angeles, California, as well as at BSI Bank at Temasek Boulevard in Singapore.

The offence under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act carries a jail term of up to five years and a maximum fine of RM5 million or five times the amount of the proceeds, whichever is higher.

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