Govt to recover assets worth US$107.3 mil from Riza Aziz in deal

Hollywood producer Riza Aziz had been charged with five counts of money laundering amounting to US$248 million.

PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya is expected to recover overseas assets worth an estimated US$107.3 million after Hollywood producer Riza Aziz was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal today.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said Riza’s discharge was a conditional release, reserving the prosecution the right to reinstate the charges should the agreement not be satisfactorily completed.

“As a result, the Malaysian government is expected to recover overseas assets involved in the offence, which is estimated at US$107.3 million (RM465.3 million).

“Based on the agreement, the accused is required to pay a compound to the government under Section 92 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 which is punitive as an alternative to the charges that have been brought against him,” it said in a statement.

MACC said the agreement was also examined and agreed upon by former attorney-general Tommy Thomas.

Riza, who had been charged with five counts of money laundering amounting to US$248 million, was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court earlier today.

Judge Azman Ahmad allowed the application after ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram told the court this would be subject to the accused fulfilling his side of the bargain.

Riza claimed trial in July 2019 to the money laundering charges allegedly involving funds received from Good Star Ltd and Aabar Investments PJS Ltd.

The two companies were said to be linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho,  commonly known as Jho Low.

Riza, who is the son of Rosmah Mansor, was accused of receiving the money between April 2011 and November 2012 at City National Bank in Los Angeles, California, as well as at BSI Bank at Temasek Boulevard in Singapore.

The offence under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act carries a jail term of up to five years and a maximum fine of RM5 million or five times the amount of the proceeds, whichever is higher.

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