US

US move to seize assets piles pressure on Malaysian PM

  • Attorney General Loretta Lynch, left, with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, July 20, 2016, at the Justice Department in Washington, announcing that the U.S. government is seeking the forfeiture of more than $1 billion in assets that federal officials say were misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch, left, with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, July 20, 2016, at the Justice Department in Washington, announcing that the U.S. government is seeking the forfeiture of more than $1 billion in assets that federal officials say were misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)  (The Associated Press)

  • Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, July 20, 2016, at the Justice Department in Washington, announcing that the U.S. government is seeking the forfeiture of more than $1 billion in assets that federal officials say were misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. The Justice Department says the funds that were laundered into the U.S. were used for various assets, including real estate and hotel properties, a jet aircraft, fancy artwork and the production of the Oscar-nominated movie, The Wolf of Wall Street. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, July 20, 2016, at the Justice Department in Washington, announcing that the U.S. government is seeking the forfeiture of more than $1 billion in assets that federal officials say were misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. The Justice Department says the funds that were laundered into the U.S. were used for various assets, including real estate and hotel properties, a jet aircraft, fancy artwork and the production of the Oscar-nominated movie, The Wolf of Wall Street. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)  (The Associated Press)

  • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, arrives for an Eid al-Fitr open house event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, July 21, 2016. Pressure mounted Thursday on Najib, with lawmakers demanding he go on leave and be held accountable after U.S. officials initiated action to seize more than $1 billion they say was stolen from a state investment fund by people close to the premier. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, arrives for an Eid al-Fitr open house event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, July 21, 2016. Pressure mounted Thursday on Najib, with lawmakers demanding he go on leave and be held accountable after U.S. officials initiated action to seize more than $1 billion they say was stolen from a state investment fund by people close to the premier. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)  (The Associated Press)

Pressure is mounting on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, with lawmakers demanding he go on leave and be held accountable after U.S. officials initiated action to seize more than $1 billion they say was stolen from a state investment fund by people close to the premier.

That fund, known as 1MDB, was created in 2009 by Najib to promote economic development projects. Instead, U.S. prosecutors said, fund officials diverted more than $3.5 billion through a web of shell companies and bank accounts abroad.

Opposition lawmaker Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says Najib must give a full explanation in Parliament, and go on leave to ensure a full and transparent probe. Lawmaker Lim Kit Siang warned Thursday that Malaysia was "careening down the slope to becoming a failed, rogue state."