Illustrative image (Source: ndtv.com)

Hanoi (VNA) – A Malaysian court declined to grant bail on January 7 to Ng Chong Hwa, former leader of the US’ Goldman Sachs multinational investment bank, who faces charges related to suspected money laundering of funds siphoned off from Malaysia's State investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Judge Edwin Paramjothy Michael Muniandy said Ng, who is currently detained in Malaysia, is in danger of fleeing by air and his presence in court whenever summoned is not guaranteed if he gets bail.

In order to receive bail, Ng will have to pay the guarantee amount of 239,000 USD.

According to the lawyer of the former Goldman Sachs banker, his client had some health problems in the prison after he had dengue fever and food poisoning.

Ng has been detained in Kuala Lumpur since November 1 last year, shortly after the US Department of Justice announced charges against him; another Goldman Sachs official, Tim Leissner; and Malaysian financier, Low Taek Jho over the alleged theft of billions of dollars from the 1MDB investment fund.

Ng appeared before a Kuala Lumpur court on December 19 and pleaded not guilty. He has also been indicted in the US, and American officials are seeking his extradition. Meanwhile, Leissner has been indicted in the US and has pleaded guilty. 

Currently, the US side is seeking to extradite Ng to the US for trial. According to Malaysian prosecutors, the US could do so after Malaysia has completed legal procedures for the former Goldman Sachs banker.

The Goldman Sachs Bank is at the centre of a corruption scandal at the MDB 1 investment fund because it is said to have a role in settling the bond three times, issuing 6.5 billion USD from the fund, as well as pocketing 1 billion USD from transaction fees related to this fund and interest from the bonds.

The 1MDB investment fund was established by former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009, supposedly to serve Malaysia’s development through global partnerships and foreign direct investment.

However, it became wrapped up in a money laundering scandal, allegedly causing losses of billions of USD and leading to probes into the financial markets in several countries such as the US, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia, and China.

After assuming power, Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad declared to give priority to addressing corruption and taking back losses of the fund. The Malaysian Government has set up a task force to look into the scandal with help from the US, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, and other countries. –VNA