Stadlen now wanted for links to 1MDB

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By TMR

The wanted list of people linked to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal is expanding with former prime minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s ex-public relations maestro Paul Geoffrey Stadlen its latest addition.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday said it is looking for Stadlen to assist the agency on the 1MDB investigation.

The Briton, who has a permanent resident status, is said to have played a key role in shaping Najib’s public persona and his communications needs.

The MACC said Stadlen is wanted to facilitate in a “high-profile investigation of 1MDB”. The 39-year-old’s last recorded address was at Unit A-29-8, Blok A, Loft Sentral Condominium, Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, KL Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur. The public who know his whereabouts are required to contact the graft buster.

Stadlen was reported to have headed the Malaysian branch of Apco Worldwide, a global communication firm which is widely linked to the Prime Minister’s Office communication team.

In 2009, then Barisan Nasional government was reported to have paid the consultant firm RM77 million to manage Malaysia’s image internationally. The contract was reportedly renewed in 2010 amid public outcry.

It is not known whether Stadlen is still in the country or whether he has been banned from leaving Malaysia.

The Malaysian Reserve contacted Immigration Department DG Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali, but did not receive any reply during press time.

Stadlen’s inclusion into the “1MDB Most Wanted” comes as authorities widen the net of individuals of interest in Malaysia’s worst financial scandal in history.

Other names wanted by the authorities include businessman Low Taek Jho, former 1MDB general counsel Jasmine Loo Ai Swan, former ED Casey Tang Keng Chee, Eric Tan Kim Loong and Geh Choh Heng.

Except for Low, who was summoned in August, the others have been on the wanted list since July.

Low is said to be trying to cut a deal with the government and in return escape punishment. He has denied all the charges levelled at him in relation to the billions siphoned from 1MDB.