FORMER Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been arrested and will be charged over his alleged role in the multi-billion-dollar looting of a state investment fund.

A government task force probing alleged theft and money laundering at the 1MDB state investment fund said Najib’s arrest was linked to a suspicious transfer of 42 million ringgit (£8.3 million) into his bank account from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit, using multiple intermediary companies.

Najib’s arrest comes nearly two months after his coalition’s rejection by voters at the country’s general election.

The new government has reopened investigations into 1MDB that were stifled under Najib’s rule.

Najib and his wife, who have been questioned by the anti-corruption agency, have been barred from leaving the country.

Police also seized jewellery valued at more than 1.1 billion ringgit (£206 million) from properties linked to Najib, who has denied any wrongdoing.

The anti-corruption agency yesterday questioned Riza Aziz, Najib’s stepson and a Hollywood film producer, as it stepped up its probe.

Investigators say Riza’s company, Red Granite Pictures Inc, used money stolen from 1MDB to finance Hollywood films including the Scorsese-directed The Wolf Of Wall Street.

Prosecutors say hundreds of millions from 1MDB landed in Najib’s bank accounts.