Red Granite Picture’s Riza Aziz was arrested on Thursday for five charges of money laundering.
The producer pleaded not guilty to five counts of money laundering in relation to the investment scam set up by his stepfather and former Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razk.
Aziz was apprehended by Malaysia’s Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). The Hollywood producer was released not long after on bail. He was summoned to court yesterday to face formal charges.
In Tinseltown, Aziz is known as the co-founder of Red Granite Pictures. This is the production company behind Martin Scorsese’s 2013 film, Wolf of Wall Street starring veteran actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
MACC alleges that the production company received laundered money from Good Star and 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho who is associated with Good Star was thanked in the opening credits of the Martin Scorsese film.
Back in may Aziz’ production company forfeited a sum of USD57 million as payment to Malaysia for the recovery of sums looted from 1MDB. An estimate of USD4.5 billion was stolen from the fund according to the U.S. Justice Department.
Aziz’s sister Nooryana Najwa took to Instagram to defend her brother writing:
“Despite the settlement in the U.S. and the fact that alleged wrongdoings occurred
entirely outside of Malaysia, the MACC decides to press charges after a whole year of leaving this case in cold storage. He is not a criminal.”
Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor face charges multiple corruption charges in Malaysia. The former prime minister’s government was brought down by the 1MDB scandal. Both have denied the charges.
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.