Malaysia Extradites Former Goldman Banker Facing US Graft Charge

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2019-05-06

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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA —Malaysia's attorney general said Monday that former Goldman Sachs executive Roger Ng has been temporarily extradited to the U.S. to face criminal charges linked to the alleged multibillion-dollar ransacking of state investment fund 1MDB.

Ng, who was arrested in Malaysia in November, has been charged both in the U.S. and Malaysia.

Attorney General Tommy Thomas said in a statement that following negotiations, Malaysia agreed to surrender Ng to the U.S. on May 3 for 10 months so that the U.S. prosecution can proceed first. Thomas said Ng will be returned to Malaysia to face charges as soon as the U.S. proceedings are over.

"The period of temporary surrender may be extended upon mutual agreement by Malaysia and the U.S.," Thomas added.

Malaysian and U.S. prosecutors allege that bond sales organized by Goldman Sachs for 1MDB provided a way for associates of Malaysian ex-leader Najib Razak to steal and launder billions over several years. Najib set up 1MDB when he took power in 2009, ostensibly to accelerate Malaysia's economic development, but the fund amassed billions in debts and is being investigated in the U.S. and several other countries for alleged cross-border embezzlement and money laundering.

The scandal helped precipitate Najib's ouster in a historic election defeat last May. Najib himself is facing corruption charges linked to 1MDB but denies any wrongdoing.

Malaysia's current government has also filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs, Ng and another former executive, Tim Leissner, and is seeking $7.5 billion in compensation from the bank.

Ng, Leissner and Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, identified by the U.S. as a mastermind of the 1MDB fraud, have also been charged in the United States. Leissner has pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy and conspiring to violate foreign bribery laws. Low, who is also wanted in Malaysia, remains at large.