No proof RM2.6b in Najib's account was a donation, says new MACC chief

Thasha Jayamanogaran
Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya to give his statement, May 22, 2018. ― Picture by Azneal Ishak

PUTRAJAYA, May 22 ― There was no evidence to support former Najib Razak's claims that RM2.6 billion deposited in 2014 into his personal bank account was from a prince in Saudi Arabia, new anti-graft chief Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull said today.

He said Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) investigators were sent in 2015 to Saudi Arabia and met with the prince.

But the prince could not provide supporting documents such as bank statements to prove the money was a donation from him.

Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing since the 1MDB scandal erupted in 2015, but he replaced the attorney-general and several MACC officers to shut down an initial investigation.

Najib has said the RM2.6 billion of funds deposited in his personal bank account were a donation from a Saudi royal, rebutting reports that the funds came from 1MDB.

The initial focus of the MACC's new probe is on how RM42 million went from SRC International to Najib's account.

SRC was created in 2011 by Najib's government to pursue overseas investments in energy resources, and was a unit of 1MDB until it was moved to the finance ministry in 2012.

MACC has been able to track the money trail from SRC more easily because transactions were made through Malaysian entities, whereas most other transfers of 1MDB funds went through foreign banks and companies.

To investigate 1MDB, the new government on Monday set up a task force made up of members of the anti-graft agency, police and the central bank, to liaise with “enforcement agencies in the United States, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada and other related countries”.

The US Department of Justice said today it would continue to pursue investigations into 1MDB and looked forward to working with Malaysian law enforcement authorities.