On Wednesday, Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Najib Razak, the disgraced former Malaysian prime minister, was arrested at the headquarters of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative capital. She is expected to be charged Thursday morning with multiple counts of money laundering.
She had already appeared three times before anticorruption investigators, answering questions on topics including more than $240,000 worth of anti-aging supplements that are believed to have been purchased with misappropriated government funds.
Rosmah, wearing a light green dress with matching headscarf, was met by her lawyers and escorted by anti-corruption officers into the agency’s building.
She smiled as she walked past journalists but did not make any comment.
In Rosmah’s last appearance a week ago, she was questioned for 13 hours.
Wednesday was the third occasion on which Rosmah had been questioned, but the first time she had been arrested, since her husband’s coalition was dramatically ousted from office after six decades in power.
A central issue in the campaign was the allegation that Najib, his family and his cronies looted billions of dollars from 1MDB in a fraud ring that stretched from Singapore to Switzerland.
Rosmah’s love of costly overseas shopping trips, designer handbags and jewellery made her a lightning rod for public anger, and fuelled suspicions that she benefited from the plundering of 1MDB.
After the election loss, a stash of cash, jewellery and hundreds of designer handbags worth as much as $273 million was seized from properties linked to the couple in raids around Kuala Lumpur.
Rosmah is often compared to Imelda Marcos, who left behind more than a thousand pairs of shoes after her husband, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, was ousted in a popular uprising in 1986.