Sat, Feb 16, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Former Goldman banker agrees to US extradition

AFP, KUALA LUMPUR

An ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker accused of involvement in the multibillion-US dollar 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal has agreed to be extradited from Malaysia to the US to face charges, his lawyers said yesterday.

Huge sums of public money were purportedly stolen from Malaysian state fund 1MDB and used to buy everything from yachts to art in a scheme that allegedly involved former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak and contributed to his government’s election defeat.

Goldman’s role is under scrutiny as the Wall Street titan helped arrange US$6.5 billion in bonds for 1MDB.

Authorities in Malaysia and the US accuse former employees of charges ranging from bribery to stealing billions of US dollars, and investigators believe cash was laundered through the US financial system.

Former Goldman Sachs managing director Ng Chong Hwa (吳崇華), commonly known as Roger Ng, was indicted in November last year when US authorities also lodged an extradition request. He has been in custody in Malaysia since the US indictment.

Malaysia also filed charges against Ng, as well as Goldman Sachs and another of its former employees, Tim Leissner.

At a court hearing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Ng’s lawyers said he would stop fighting the extradition request and wanted to be sent to the US within 30 days.

“He intends to defend the case on its merits in the court for the Eastern District of New York,” his lawyer Tan Hock Chuan (陳福泉) told reporters after the hearing.

“The respondent has reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice for bail,” he added, without giving further details.

The Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs must first issue an order allowing Ng to be extradited to the US, the judge told the court. Under local law, Malaysia has up to 90 days to send him to the US, Tan said.

It was not immediately clear what would happen with the Malaysian charges.

Ng faces charges in the US of conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

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