The former Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak was arrested today in connection with a probe into millions of dollars missing from a state fund.
Najib, the son of former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, hugged his family members and said goodbye to them before MACC officers drove him away from his Langgak Duta home to spend a night in remand.
Other reports said Najib could be charged tomorrow for offences related to money-laundering. Local media reports said Najib was seen leaving his house in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, in an unmarked police auto.
In a pre-recorded video posted on social media hours after his arrest, Najib apologized to Malaysians but remained defiant. A Najib spokesperson did not immediately have a comment.
After leading the country for almost a decade, it was a swift fall for Najib, the son of Malaysia's second prime minister, following an unexpected election defeat in May to 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir also told Reuters in an interview last month that embezzlement and bribery with government money were among the charges that the Pakatan Harapan government was looking to bring against Najib, adding they had "an nearly ideal case" against him.
A government task force probing alleged theft and money laundering at the 1MDB state investment fund said Najib's arrest was linked to a suspicious transfer of 42 million ringgit ($10.6 million) into his bank account from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit, using multiple intermediary companies.
Najib has denied allegations that he misappropriated funds ever since the 1MDB scandal emerged in 2015. In the US, his production company had reached a $60 million settlement in a suit that alleged the movie was funded by money siphoned from 1MDB.
Part of the US$681 million, which was reportedly deposited in Najib's accounts in March and April 2013 before the 13th general election in May, had been used, according to Najib himself, for campaigning in the poll.
Raids on homes linked to Najib in May have unearthed cash, luxury good and valuables worth more than RM1 billion.
But in a major blow for Najib and his United Malays National Organization, a May 9 election put in place a government insistent on weeding out corruption and addressing Malaysia's fiscal troubles. The new government has reopened investigations into 1MDB that were stifled under Najib's rule.