Credit cards belonging to Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak were used to spend over 3.3 million RM (800,000 USD) in a single day at a luxury jeweller in Italy, a court in Kuala Lumpur has heard during his trial.
Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak (Photo: AFP/VNA)
According to Bernama, the Malaysian news agency, the spending spree took place at De Grisogono jeweller via Najib’s Visa and Mastercard platinum credit cards.
Yeoh Eng Leong, a senior official from Malaysian lender AmBank said at a hearing in the case on July 15 the money was spent on August 8, 2014, but he did not disclose what was bought.
In addition, the cards were also used to pay over 460,000 RM at a Chanel boutique in Hawaii and over 120,000 RM at a Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok.
Najib defended the spending, saying this expenditure is for a gift to a senior member of the Italian government that has good relations with Malaysia.
"It is normal to give gifts to leaders of other governments," he said.
The current trial is the first of several that Najib is expected to face over the government fund 1MDB. Najib was toppled from power in May last year, and is now facing dozens of charges for corruption, misappropriation of funds and abuse of power linked to the 1MDB fund.
On Sept 20 last year, Najib was charged with 25 corruption charges involving 2.28 billion RM of 1MDB money.
The 1MDB was set up by Najib in 2009 for socio-economic development. However, US and Malaysian investigators found some 4.5 billion USD was stolen, and around 1 billion USD was sent to Najib’s different accounts.