Ex-Goldman banker Roger Ng says Malaysian jail was ‘absolute hell’

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 28 Feb 2023

NEW YORK: Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker and convicted 1MDB conspirator Roger Ng said in a court filing that he spent six months in a squalid Malaysian prison where he was sometimes chained to as many as 20 other inmates.

Ng described his previous incarceration in a letter to US District Judge Margo Brodie pleading for leniency when he is sentenced next week for his role in the looting of Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

In the Saturday letter, Ng argued that the time he spent in Malaysia’s Sungai Buloh prison prior to his May 2019 extradition to the US was "absolute hell” and punishment enough for his crimes. Ng is asking Brodie to give him no additional jail time in the US when she sentences him March 9 in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

ALSO READ: Ex-Goldman banker Roger Ng seeks leniency in 1MDB scandal

Ng, 51, is the only Goldman employee to have gone to trial over the 1MDB scandal.

In Sungai Buloh, the onetime managing director said he lived with rats and other vermin, slept on a cement floor and contracted malaria and leptospirosis, a bacterial infection spread through contact with rat urine. When he was taken to court, Ng said he was handcuffed with 20 other prisoners in a "chain” and loaded into a crowded truck. He was held in solitary confinement for up to two weeks at a time, Ng said.

"Six months in the Malaysian prison had a devastating effect mentally and physically,” Ng wrote.

"Until today, I find myself reclusive socially as I continue to deal with this brutal and distressing experience. The time without sunlight and in isolation made me lose my mind and become frightful.”

ALSO READ: Ex-Goldman banker Roger Ng argues 1MDB bribes only US$1bil, not US$2bil

Ng was convicted by a federal jury in April of three felony counts, including conspiring to violate US anti-bribery laws and conspiring to launder money.

Tim Leissner, Ng’s former Goldman boss, pleaded guilty and was the government’s star witness at trial.

Leissner will be sentenced in September.

Goldman paid more than US$2.3bil (RM10.3bil) in the plea deal, the largest penalty in US history for a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. – Bloomberg

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