In Malaysia, Riza Aziz – ex-PM Najib Razak’s stepson – was detained then released on bail
Malaysia’s anti-corruption agency has arrested former prime minister Najib Razak’s stepson, a Hollywood producer who counts Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street among his credits.
Riza Aziz was detained on Thursday but released on bail, according to Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Latheefa Koya, who said the film producer would face money-laundering charges on Friday.
Riza has previously been questioned in relation to the multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal, in which Najib was accused of involvement in a sovereign wealth fund that was allegedly used to steal more than £3bn.
Najib denied charges of involvement in the schemes in May, in the first of multiple trials related to the scandal. The controversy helped to end the 60-year dominance of Malaysian politics by Najib’s Barisan Nasional coalition.
The effects of the scandal have been felt around the world, from the seizure of a £95m yacht in Bali allegedly bought with stolen funds, to criminal charges against US investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Riza’s film production company, Red Granite, last year paid US authorities $60m to settle charges of involvement without admitting wrongdoing, after it was alleged to have used misappropriated money to fund Oscar-nominated The Wolf of Wall Street and other films.
Riza was also credited as an executive producer on Daddy’s Home, a comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, and Horns, starring Daniel Radcliffe.
The former prime minister’s daughter, Nooryana Najwa, posted a picture of Riza on the Instagram social media account on Thursday, defending her brother.
“Despite the settlement in the US and the fact that alleged wrongdoings occurred entirely outside of Malaysia, the MACC decides to press charges after a whole year of leaving this case in cold storage. He is not a criminal.”
Riza denies any wrongdoing.