PETALING JAYA: Paul Stadlen, (pix) a British public relations consultant to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, was slapped with money laundering charges in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, according to a report.
A source was quoted by a local news portal as saying the media advisor to the embattled former premier was charged in absentia involving a sum said to be around RM15 million.
Stadlen, who was a former director at Apco Worldwide Malaysia, fled the country after the Najib-led Barisan Nasional (BN) lost the general election on May 9, 2018.
He is believed to be wanted for questioning in relation to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case.
Authorities are also seeking an arrest warrant to extradite Stadlen back to Malaysia to face trial here, the source familiar with the matter reportedly said.
It is also understood that the authorities were on the hunt for another senior lawyer who was involved in the 1MDB mega scandal.
Stadlen, who previously aided Najib in his publicity campaigns, has been wanted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to assist in the 1MDB probe, the latter having previously claimed the Briton to be a crucial witness in the case.
Whistleblower website Sarawak Report had also previously reported that Stadlen led the communication operations of the Prime Minister’s Office under Najib, and was offered US$420,000 (RM1.7 million) over a six-month period to advise Najib’s administration.
Stadlen’s current whereabouts are uncertain.