MACC freezes assets of former Astro Group CEO Rohana Rozhan after 1MDB-linked blackmail complaint

PETALING JAYA: Assets and a bank account belonging to former group chief executive of Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Datuk Rohana Rozhan, have been frozen by anti-corruption investigators.

The freezing order came as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) began investigating allegations that it received the house purchased with money from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

“The freezing order was issued as part of the investigation.

“This has been done so that no transactions involving the account or the home can be made while the investigation is ongoing,” a source told The Star on Friday, February 25.

Online portal MalaysiaNow said the order was issued by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) under Section 44 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act .

Rohana is being investigated following a claim by former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner that he was blackmailed into buying her a US$10 million ($42 million) house. of RM) in London.

The portal claimed that Rohana may have paid for the London house using half of the amount allegedly donated by Leissner, while the rest was kept in an account in the UK.

Under the freezing order, Rohana will not be able to carry out any transactions related to his UK bank account or his home.

Earlier, Rohana released a statement confirming that she met with MACC.

“I refer to the allegations that have appeared in the media about me.

“I visited the MACC offices and extended my full cooperation to them in their investigations,” she said.

According to a report by Utusan Malaysia, MACC had taken a statement from Rohana at its headquarters in Putrajaya at 9am on Thursday (February 24).

The anti-corruption agency is said to have opened an investigation following the testimony of Tim Leissner in US federal court in the trial of Malaysian Roger Ng, accused of conspiracy to launder money and having violated an anti-corruption law involving 1MDB funds.

Citing a source, the Malaysian daily reported that the MACC investigation was being conducted under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Proceeds Act 2001. of illegal activities.

On Tuesday (February 22), Leissner testified that he had offered a media CEO, with whom he had an affair for a decade, a US$10 million (RM42 million) house in London.

He claimed his ex-lover blackmailed him into buying her the London house and threatened to reveal his involvement with 1MDB. The relationship lasted from 2003 to 2013, he told the jury.

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