Malaysian PM Najib named by his minister in money laundering case

Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Updated: Sep 02, 2016, 11:16 AM(IST)

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak gestures as he delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) in Jakarta on August 2, 2016. Photograph:( AFP )

Malayasian Prime Minister Najib Razak is the unidentified official accused of looting state funds, according to a cabinet minister. 

A United States Justice Department lawsuit filed in July had accused a 'Malaysian Official 1' of funnelling around a billion dollars from a state investment fund named 1MBD.

The country's minister of urban wellbeing, housing and local government, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, said in a TV interview late on Thursday that the unnamed official was PM Najib.

He later sent a clarifying statement: "It’s obvious that the so-called ‘Malaysian Official 1’ referred to by the US Justice Department is our prime minister."

However, Rahman Dahlan, communications director for Najib's ruling coalition, insisted that he was not a target of the US lawsuit.

Najib's own minister's statement has amplified pressure on him to step down.

Najib had initially launched an investigation into the scandal but has since then put a lid on it.

1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was launched by Najib in 2009 and was closely overseen by him.

Allegations of money-laundering involving billions of dollars of 1MDB money surfaced two years ago.

(WION with inputs from agencies)



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