American prosecutors have accused Mr. Najib, 64, of diverting into his personal bank account $731 million from the state investment fund, which he supervised for years. Money siphoned from the fund, known as 1MDB, was then spent on luxury goods, such as a $27.3 million pink diamond necklace that was worn by Mr. Najib’s wife, American investigators said.I find stories like this one shocking because of the lack of limits. Ok, so Najib wanted to be rich; lots of people do. But $4.5 billion? Incuding more than $700 million just transferred to his personal account? What was he thinking? Surely with control of the investment fund he could have made tens of millions in ways that would have been a lot harder to prove against him. Heck, he could have operated in a completely legal way and just steered enough to certain friends to guarantee himself a seat in some Singapore investment bank when he retired.
The United States Justice Department said that at least $4.5 billion from 1MDB was laundered through American financial institutions and misspent by Mr. Najib, his family and associates.
But for some people being rich is not enough. They have to be mega-rich, giant yacht rich, rich completely beyond reason. Or maybe the taking becomes an obsession in itself; last year I stole $100 million and got away with it, so this year I'll steal a billion. Like this:
The Malaysian police said last week that they had seized cash, jewelry, purses and other valuables worth as much as $273 million from properties of Mr. Najib and Ms. Rosmah. The catalog of seized jewelry included 567 handbags, 2,200 rings and 14 tiaras.I find it utterly weird.