by BLOOMBERG / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
MALAYSIAN authorities have frozen about $10 million worth of assets as it investigates ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Tim Leissner’s claim that his former lover blackmailed him over his role in the 1MDB scandal.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is probing the case under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the agency’s chief Azam Baki (picture) said at a press conference on Tuesday. The same law was used to convict former prime minister Najib Razak for his involvement with 1MDB.
“We have called Rohana to record her statement and have taken steps to freeze related assets or cash,” said Azam, referring to Rohana Rozhan, the alleged former lover. “We will continue our efforts to investigate and return the related monies to our country.”
Leissner, a star witness in the trial linked to Malaysian investment company 1MDB, told a U.S. court last week that he bought Rozana a $10 million house in London in 2013 after she threatened to expose his involvement in the fund.
Rozana tendered her resignation as chief executive officer of Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd. in 2018, just a month before Najib was slapped with his first corruption charges in relation to 1MDB. She said on Friday she was cooperating with officials and didn’t address the allegations in a two-line statement.
Azam said Tuesday the MACC intended to summon more individuals for questioning, including those in the U.S. This would require the help of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, he said.