In full: The five money-laundering charges against Riza Aziz, Najib’s stepson and Hollywood producer

Riza Aziz leaves the Kuala Lumpur High Court July 4, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Riza Aziz leaves the Kuala Lumpur High Court July 4, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 — Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz was today charged with five counts of money-laundering US$248 million of funds allegedly originating from sovereign investment company 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Riza, the co-founder of Hollywood production house Red Granite Pictures, is the third in his family after his stepfather and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his mother Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, to be tainted with alleged corruption and taken to court.

The 42-year-old is accused of receiving a total of US$248,173,104 (equivalent to about RM1.026 billion by today’s exchange rate) between 2011 and 2012.

The funds were alleged to have flowed in cross-border transactions from two Switzerland bank accounts of two companies named in the massive 1MDB financial scandal, to a US bank account and a Singapore bank account.

Below are the details of Riza’s five money-laundering charges:

1. April 12, 2011 to May 12, 2011

Receiving US$1,173,104 from Good Star Limited’s RBS Coutts (Zurich, Switzerland) account 11116073 into Red Granite Productions Inc’s City National Bank (Los Angeles, US) account 123284291

2. September 10, 2012 to October 10, 2012

Receiving US$9 million from Good Star Limited’s RBS Coutts (Zurich, Switzerland) account 11116073 into Red Granite Productions Inc’s City National Bank (Los Angeles, US) account 123284291

3. June 18, 2012

Receiving US$133 million from Aabar Investments PJS Limited’s BSI SA (Lugano, Switzerland) account 81134378 into Red Granite Capital Ltd’s BSI Bank (Singapore) account 6C02250A

4. October 23, 2012

Receiving US$60 million from Aabar Investments PJS Limited’s BSI SA (Lugano, Switzerland) account 81134378 into Red Granite Capital Ltd’s BSI Bank (Singapore) account 6C02250A

5. November 14, 2012

Receiving US$45 million from Aabar Investments PJS Limited’s BSI SA (Lugano, Switzerland) account 81134378 into Red Granite Capital Ltd’s BSI Bank (Singapore) account 6C02250A

All five charges name the millions of US dollars as resulting from the “misappropriation” of 1MDB funds.

All five counts of the money-laundering offences are under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (AMLATFA).

If convicted under any of the five counts, the penalty is a maximum RM5 million fine or maximum five-year jail term or both.

Since the offences were allegedly committed before September 2014, the money-laundering charges were not brought under AMLATFA’s replacement law.

The newer version of the law, Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA), carries a heftier penalty of a maximum 15-year jail term and a fine of at least five times the sum of the illegal funds or RM5 million, whichever is higher.

While Riza’s five charges relate to transactions occurring outside of Malaysia, local laws against money-laundering allow such charges to be brought to Malaysian courts.

Under Section 82(1)(e) of the AMLATFA, any offence under the law that is committed by any person against property — belonging to Malaysia’s federal government or state governments — outside of Malaysia, including Malaysian diplomatic or consular premises “may be dealt with as if it had been committed at any place within Malaysia.”