August 5, 2015 / 12:07 PM / 4 years ago

Malaysia's anti-graft unit to ask Najib to explain 2.6 billion ringgit donation

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives at the 48th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 4, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia’s anti-graft unit said in a statement on Wednesday it would ask Prime Minister Najib Razak to explain a 2.6 billion ringgit (£428.3 million) donation that was deposited into his private bank account.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said it had verified the sum was given by a donor from the Middle East but could not disclose the donor’s identity.

The MACC said it had confirmed this with the donor and through documents obtained from the bank that showed the money had been deposited into Najib’s account. But it said the donation had no connection to troubled state fund 1MDB [TERRN.UL].

A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Wall Street Journal reported in July that investigators looking into allegations of graft and financial mismanagement in 1MDB found that nearly $700 million was deposited into Najib’s private bank account. Reuters has not verified the report.

1MDB has debts of more than $11 billion (£7 billion) and Najib is the chairman of its advisory board.

The MACC said it had been advised by the attorney-general to announce its findings on its own and not through the task force set up to probe 1MDB . The MACC will continue its own internal investigation into the donation.

Reporting By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah and Praveen Menon

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