A former Goldman Sachs banker has been extradited from Malaysia to the United States to face charges linked to the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal, Malaysia said Monday.
Huge sums of public money were stolen from Malaysian state fund 1MDB and used to buy everything from yachts to artwork, in a scheme allegedly overseen by former premier Najib Razak and his cronies.
Goldman’s role is under scrutiny as the Wall Street bank helped arrange $6.5 billion in bonds for 1MDB.
Authorities in Malaysia accuse former employees and some of the bank’s subsidiaries of stealing $2.7 billion during the process, and investigators believe cash was laundered through the U.S. financial system.
Malaysian Ng Chong Hwa – a former managing director at the bank charged in both Malaysia and America over 1MDB – was extradited to the U.S. on Friday, Malaysian attorney-general Tommy Thomas said.
The 1MDB scandal is starting to look like a catastrophe for Goldman, Sachs: column https://t.co/Tnu6Epvkul
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 28, 2018
Ng, more commonly known as Roger Ng, had been in custody in Malaysia since November when the U.S. unveiled 1MDB-linked charges against him and lodged an extradition request.
Thomas said in a statement that an agreement had been reached for “a temporary surrender by Malaysia of Roger Ng for a period of 10 months to enable him to be extradited to the U.S., and for the US prosecution to proceed first.”
“Roger Ng was temporarily surrendered to the U.S. on May 3, 2019, and shall be returned to Malaysia to face our charges as soon as the proceedings in the U.S. are concluded,” he added.
Malaysia later filed its own charges against Ng over the scandal.
Ng asked to be sent to the US but Malaysia initially insisted he remain in the country until legal proceedings there had been completed.
Malaysia and the U.S. have also charged former Goldman partner Tim Leissner for his part in the controversy.
Leissner has already pleaded guilty in the U.S. to 1MDB-linked charges.
The Department of Justice estimates that $4.5 billion was looted from the fund by Najib and his associates.
The allegations played a major role in Najib’s government losing power last year. He has since been hit with dozens of charges linked to the scandal and last month went on trial.
More on the Subject
Political opponents said the law was a crude tool aimed at silencing criticism of the then government and its leader Najib Razak, particularly over the corruption mega-scandal surrounding sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.