BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) on Saturday arrested two judges in connection with criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

The husband and wife duo — Hj Nabil Daraina Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Badaruddin and Ramzidah Pehin Datu Kesuma Diraja Col (rtd) Hj Abdul Rahman — are being questioned regarding the misappropriation of funds from bankruptcy cases in the High Court, which were allegedly used to buy luxury cars and other high-value assets, the police said in a statement broadcast on Radio Televisyen Brunei.

The pair are being held to assist in the investigation and formal charges have yet to be filed. No further details were given.

This screenshot taken from RTB News shows Hj Nabil and Ramzidah, two judges arrested in an ongoing corruption investigation. Source: RTB

Under Brunei law, criminal breach of trust by a public servant carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and unspecified fines.

Money laundering, an offence under the Criminal Asset Recovery Order, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $500,000.

Hj Nabil was a senior magistrate at the Bandar Seri Begawan Magistrates Court, and previously served as a deputy public prosecutor. His wife, Ramzidah, was a senior registrar at the High Court who presided over bankruptcy cases.

They were both suspended from active duty in January 2018, according to sources close to the matter.

The case is being investigated by the RBPF’s Criminal Investigation Department and the Anti-Corruption Bureau.