Malaysian fugitive ‘Fat Leonard’ in massive navy bribery case caught in Venezuela

Francis was under home arrest in San Diego when he cut off his GPS ankle bracelet and escaped on Sep 4. Ten US agencies searched for Francis and authorities issued a US$40,000 reward for his arrest.

US authorities also issued a red notice, which asks law enforcement worldwide to provisionally arrest someone with the possibility of extradition. Malaysia and Singapore both have extradition agreements with the United States.

Francis pleaded guilty in 2015 to offering prostitution services, luxury hotels, cigars, gourmet meals and more than US$500,000 in bribes to Navy officials and others to help his Singapore-based ship servicing company, Glenn Defence Marine Asia or GDMA. Prosecutors said the company overcharged the Navy by at least US$35 million for servicing ships, many of which were routed to ports he controlled in the Pacific.

Francis had been allowed to remain in home confinement to receive medical care while he cooperated with the prosecution. With his help, prosecutors secured convictions of 33 of 34 defendants, including more than two dozen Navy officers.