Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, stepson of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, on July 5 faces five counts of laundering money from the state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)(Photo: www.malaymail.com)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, stepson of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, on July 5 faced five counts of laundering money from the state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The Hollywood producer has become the third person in Najib’s family to face charges in the scandal.

A Kuala Lumpur court accused Riza, aged 42, of receiving 248 million USD embezzled from the 1MDB fund in the US and Singapore in 2011-2012. Afterward, he transferred the sum to the bank accounts of his production firm Red Granite Pictures Inc.

According to prosecutors, the firm had used the money to produce Hollywood films, including the Oscar-nominated movie The Wolf of Wall Street.

Riza was also alleged to have used part of the funds to purchase several properties in the US.

He was asked to pay a penalty worth 1 million ringgit (240,000 USD) and asked to submit his passport.

The next trial is scheduled to take place on August 9. If found guilty, Riza could face up to five years of imprisonment.

He was freed on bail a day after being detained by officials of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on July 4.

Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak founded the 1MDB investment fund in 2009, supposedly to serve Malaysia’s development through global partnerships and foreign direct investment.

However, it became the centre of a money laundering scandal, allegedly causing losses of up to 4.5 billion USD and leading to probes in Malaysia and several other countries such as the US, Switzerland, Singapore and China.

Najib himself has been on trial for dozens of corruption charges involving billions of ringgit from 1MDB while his wife Rosmah Mansor was also facing multiple charges.–VNA