Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Najib’s ex-media guy agrees to surrender RM7 million

The anti-graft agency says the money will be transferred to 1MDB's trust account.

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Najib Razak’s former media adviser Paul Stadlen, who was charged in 2019 with money laundering involving RM14.3 million, has agreed to a deal with the government which would see just over RM7 million transferred to the trust account of state investment fund 1MDB.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said in a statement that Stadlen had agreed to surrender RM7,192,873.84, with the entire sum transferred to the 1MDB account.

“The matter was decided after taking into account that this was an appropriate sum to forfeit,” it said.

“In relation to this, the case against him has been withdrawn.”

Stadlen, who worked for Najib for nine years, fled Malaysia after Barisan Nasional’s defeat in the 2018 general election.

He was charged in absentia with money laundering at the Magistrate’s Court in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 20, 2019.

According to the first charge, he was accused of ordering the transfer of a RM8.2 million payment from illegal activities from a bank account of a client of law firm Messrs Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak to several individuals and a company in 27 transactions between June and December 2014.

In the second charge, he was accused of ordering the transfer of RM6.1 million from illegal activities from the bank account of the same client of the law firm to several individuals and a company in 16 transactions between January and August 2015.

The charges were framed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001. If convicted, he could have faced a maximum jail term of five years or a fine of not more than RM5 million.

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