Malaysia PM Najib's stepson Riza Aziz used 1MDB funds to buy property, WSJ reports

Najib's stepson may have spent $50M of 1MDB money to buy property

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's stepson Riza Aziz allegedly used at least $50 million from troubled state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to buy luxury properties, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Thursday.

Aziz, co-founder of Los Angeles-based film production company Red Granite Pictures, reportedly acquired a $33.5 million New York duplex and a Beverly Hills mansion for more than $17.5 million, the WSJ said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is currently investigating how Aziz financed those purchases as it carries out a bigger examination into 1MDB, according to the WSJ.

Protesters demanding Prime Minister Najib Razak's resignation during a rally in Kuala Lumpur.
1MDB was unsustainable due to low capital, high debt: Abdul Wahid Omar

The newspaper had previously reported Aziz's Red Granite Pictures financed the bulk of the budget for the Hollywood feature film "Wolf of Wall Street" using funds from 1MDB.

Aziz's involvement adds to the complex saga behind 1MDB. Last year, PM Najib was accused of receiving $681 million in his bank account from 1MDB.

1MDB has amassed around $12 billion in debt in the seven years since its creation. It's currently involved in a dispute with Abu Dhabi state-owned International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), which claims that 1MDB owes it more than $1.2 billion.

Malaysia's finance ministry, the sole shareholder of 1MDB, recently dissolved the fund's board of advisers and said it would take over the fund's remaining assets.

Read the full WSJ story here.

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