Speaking to an audience in Geneva yesterday DAP Finance Spokesperson, Tony Pua detailed the simple steps by which US$170 million was transferred out of the Civil Servant Pension Fund, KWAP into Najib’s personal AmBank spending account in 2011.
The transfer, long suspected by observers, represents one of the final missing jigsaw pieces in the tale of theft at 1MDB and raises further questions about the transactions of yet another Swiss Bank Julius Baer.
A total of RM4 billion was raised by SRC (set up as a subsidiary to 1MDB in 2011) with the first draw-down of RM2 billion of that money taking place in August of that year. It was then transferred abroad, supposedly for ‘international investments’, thereby making it harder for Malaysian investigators to trace.
However, in three short steps the following November, the money was simply transferred back into Malaysia and into Najib’s own personal bank account!
The intermediary was SRC International’s account at the Swiss bank Julius Baer’s Hong Kong branch in a transfer partially uncovered by Sarawak Report in March of this year.
$170 million was transferred from the Malaysian fund to its account at Julius Baer under the guise of funding foreign investments, Pua stated. The sum was then passed on to the bogus BVI company Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners (identified by the US Dept of Justice as being controlled by Jho Low through his associate Eric Tan) and then on during the same month of November into Najib’s KL account.
Amounting to around half a billion ringgit in Malaysian currency, this represents a large chunk of the SRC missing money long suspected to have been almost entirely pilfered by the Prime Minister and his associates. Earlier this month the Swiss authorities confirmed that they had evidence that $800 million (the vast majority of the KWAP loan) was indeed misappropriated according to their international banking investigations, but failed to release the details.
MACC (Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission) investigations have already established that over RM60 million was transferred directly from SRC locally to other accounts held by Najib at AmBank. That money was passed by Nik Faisal Arif Kamil (another associate of Jho Low) who was appointed Chief Executive of SRC and had also been given authorised status to manage these accounts for the Prime Minister.
Pua explained the series of 1MDB to a selected audience at the University of Geneva
‘Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud ‘
Najib has long sought to explain the massive payments into his account by referring to what he said were donations from a bogus Saudi ‘Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud ‘. When it was clearly proven by MACC investigators that at least RM67 million had been merely directed locally straight from SRC to his accounts set up by Nik Kamil, he issued the excuse that he had not realised this to be the case.
Najib informed the new Attorney General he had just appointed (since the old one was about to prosecute him) that he had understood the money came from the alleged Saudi donation. This excuse was accepted by his new AG, Apandi Ali, who did not request him to repay the money to the pension fund.
Meanwhile, a new document obtained by Sarawak Report sheds fascinating light on the reality behind the so-called Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud, whose purported letters of explanation were sent to AmBank each time one of these enormous payments were made into Najib’s account.
No one has been able to identify this particular Saudi Royal, even though the payments are so large that he would have to have been one of the richest members of the Saudi ruling family to afford them. Indeed the letter sent to AmBank in November 2011 gives two different versions of this character’s name and one of the bank accounts later used to make another payment, allegedly by him, uses another name entirely,Prince Faisal bin Turkey bin Bandar Alsaud
The November 2011 letter from ‘Prince Abdulaziz’ claimed it was to support Najib’s Global Movement of Moderation
The letter referred to Najib’s alleged good works through his pet project for impressing the Americans, entitled the Global Movement of the Moderates, which this Saudi Wahabi Prince was allegedly supporting.
Seal and signature (bogus)
The document bears a striking resemblance to the letter head of another close associate of Jho Low, the beneficial shareholder of PetroSaudi, Prince Turki bin Abdullah. Prince Turki was paid millions of dollars in back-handers by Low for allowing his shell company PetroSaudi to be used as a front for the 1MDB joint venture, which siphoned $1.83 billion of borrowed money out of Malaysia.
The Department of Justice has also confirmed that Prince Turki passed $20 million from money removed from that joint venture deal straight to Najib’s own bank accounts.
Sarawak Report has a copy of Turki’s own letterhead used for business ventures later spearheaded by PetroSaudi in Venezuela and it bears a remarkable resemblance to the apparently bogus figure behind the payments into Najib’s AmBank account.
Prince Turki’s letterhead
Did Jho Low and his team use his pal’s letter head to simply forge a similar ‘royal looking’ document? The fugitive billionaire has yet to answer any questions on his role at 1MDB and Malaysia has closed down all investigations on the AG’s decision that ‘there has been no wrongdoing’
Seal and signature (Turki)
However, Najib’s press man Paul Stadlen has been informing international journalists that reports that Prince Abdulaziz was indeed Prince Turki should be taken as being well-founded.
The only problem being that Prince Turki is just one of scores of Saudi Princes, whose personal means are limited when it comes to donating on a scale of hundreds of millions of dollars. Indeed, to the contrary it is Prince Turki who got the backhanders from Malaysia, which is probably why he is considered the perfect person to keep his mouth shut.
Prince Turki (2nd left) just before the signing of the PetroSaudi JV
The debacle of the Malaysian sovereign fund 1MDB represents the financial scandal of the decade. At the heart of this case of plundering and corruption, is a group of Swiss residents, who enjoyed partying together before everything went wrong. It’s a story of a friendship shattered by too fast a fortune.
They were promised a bright future in finance. The Genevans Xavier Justo and the Saudi Tarek Obaid, who grew up in the city of Calvin, were like two fingers, trained in victory. Until a torrent of money falling from the sky smashed their friendship: sending one to a Thai prison and the other to the heart of the financial scandal of the decade. 1MDB.
This week, Singapore and the Swiss financial watchdog (FINMA) punished the Swiss based Falcon Private Bank for its involvement in the misappropriation of billions of dollars belonging to the Malaysian sovereign fund. Another Swiss bank, BSI bank was forcibly dissolved in May. The Finance Ministry of the Confederation (MPC) has frozen several millions of francs suspected to be involved in the 1MDB affair.
The American Department of Justice has filed a civil complaint against those allegedly responsible for this misuse of public funds, initiating the freezing of more than a billion of doubtful assets worldwide. A record.
Among the key players in the case: PetroSaudi, a company established in Geneva, yet completely unheard of before this affair.
Ferrari and endurance sports
Long before they became directors, Xavier and Tarek met in the early 1990s. They worked together in the Scandinavian Bank of Geneva and for Piguet, before joining Fininfor, a small wealth management firm. The former co-directed this come. The second rented space there for his company PetroSaudi, set up in Geneva with the support of friends.
Xavier Justo at that time was also a part-owner of a couple of nightclubs Platinum and the Z Cube. He drove a Ferrari and enjoyed endurance sports. A self-taught man now 50 years old, this son of Spanish emigrants built his career without a university education.
Despite his many tattoos, Xavier was a role model for Tarek, who was 10 years younger, less experienced but equally ambitious. The young Saudi had the advantage of connections: he became close to Prince Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud (45), seventh son of the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Likewise he was close to the Ojjeh family, the owners of the Genevan private jet company TAG Aviation, thanks to an earlier relationship with an heiress of this powerful family. In addition, Tarek claims today, according to his resume, to be a “private adviser to the Saudi Crown” and to hold “an important network of contacts within the Gulf Cooperation Council.”
Born into a wealthy family, the young Obaid arrived in Geneva in 1982. He attended the International School before obtaining a degree from the American University of Georgetown (Saudi campus). In a letter of recommendation for admission to the Faculty, the former US Ambassador Walter Cutler described him as a member of one of “the leading families of Saudi Arabia.” The grandfather of Tariq had held ministerial duties in the Kingdom before founding the first printed newspapers in the country, eventually becoming a well-known writer.
Tarek Obaid was also eager to come up in the world. He suffered from the bankruptcy of his father. “He had been a successful businessman, active in trade promotion between the Middle East and Switzerland, in particular via the Obteco company based in Geneva. But he ended his career leaving nothing for his family”, says an anonymous source close to the clan Obaid. Tarek’s father lost everything in the aftermath of the Gulf War.
So these two Genevois are not from the same background, but they shared the same desire for success and a taste for risk-taking. Then came the economic crisis of 2008. “My husband dropped everything because of the economic conditions, says Laura Justo, the wife of Xavier. He did not flee because he had problems with his employer, as has been claimed by PetroSaudi”.
The couple started a new life in Asia, exploring the continent in search of the ideal base. Almost two years passed. Until one day Xavier received an unexpected call. “It was Tarek”, Laura recalls. “My husband was offered a directorships for the new operating center of PetroSaudi in London”. This was the British branch of the Geneva-based company, whose official headquarters are in Riyadh, although we have not found any trace of it in the Register of the Saudi companies.
Today the company is suspected of having played a role in the disappearance of some $700 million, through a partnership formed in 2009 – the year of the opening of its offices in London – with 1MDB, the sovereign wealth fund controlled by the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The money concerned – a loan from 1MDB loan which was never repaid – was channelled into the account offshore of the company Good Star, claimed to belong to PetroSaudi, according to official statements signed by Tarek. But in reality, says the American official complaint, that amount ended up in the pockets of the Malaysian businessman Jho Low who, as Xavier Justo later wrote, is none other than the “money maker” of Najib Razak, and his wife Rosmah Mansor. For their part, PetroSaudi claimed to have paid back all they owned, including interest, to the Malaysian sovereign fund.
The federal prosecutor is in the process of examining these issues connected to the Good Star account and the alleged fake contract with 1MDB. In particular as to whether PetroSaudi was used as a front by Malaysian leaders to conduct their criminal designs.
Thus the “miracle contract” with 1MDB has since turned into a nightmare for PetroSaudi. But Xavier at the time was totally unaware of anything, according to his wife and lawyers of Tariq.
Yet the salary offered by the Saudi youth to his friend was over 600 000 per year, according to internal emails to the company. At least three times that if we take into account the bonus, which is now refuted now PetroSaudi – his official residence was also paid by the company. Whatever the case, Xavier Justo agreed to interrupt his pursuit of a tropical paradise in order to move into an upscale neighbourhood of London.
“The first six months were fantastic,” recalls Laura Justo. Her husband renewed his skills. His linguistic abilities, combined with the new credibility and financial clout of PetroSaudi enabled Xavier to win oil concessions in Venezuela. He made numerous trips between Caracas and London as the contracts took shape.
But, there were also difficulties. “Tarek, originally a close friend, became unstable, angry and aggressive towards his colleagues. His fortune fell from the sky and it turned hiss head, “said Laura Justo. Having become suddenly very wealthy, the young Saudi started to burn the candle at both ends. He and his CFO, Patrick Mahony a Briton the same age with a Genevan accent and a Swiss passport, “were notorious for their partying and tendency for excess,” say witnesses of their nocturnal debaucheries, including Geneva disco employees.
When in their cups, Tarek and Patrick would begin to boast that with 1MDB they had concluded with the “deal” of their lives. “They often told my husband they had filled their pockets several times” Laura notes. These boasts began to annoy Xavier. The break came the day he missed an important business flight to New York, provoking Tarek into a rage. “My husband didn’t go back to the office for weeks. He worked from home, now forced to pay for our apartment, whose rent exceeded 15 000 per month”, says Laura Justo. PetroSaudi reduced and eventually stopped paying her husband’s salary, who in the end ran out of money.
All this became too much for Xavier, who resigned about a year after his appointment. “Contrary to what PetroSaudi has always claimed, my husband was not dismissed,” she says, with email exchanges in her hand. The company has since modified its version, claiming that the separation was made on the basis of “mutual consent”, Xavier’s performance having not been satisfactory.
Laura Justo, who worked at Fininfor before 2009, had at that time performed administrative duties for PetroSaudi in Geneva. “Tarek’s company had no apparent activity. His bank accounts held little money, there was very little to do for him. The company was worthless until it joined up with 1MDB, “she says.
Really? “The Swiss branch of PetroSaudi never intervened in 1MDB transactions and had no real activity,” says Jean-François Ducrest, lawyer for the Obaid family. Emails show show that the company was planning to start a business in Geneva trading in raw materials, but could not achieve this because his Swiss tax status prohibited him from engaging in commercial activities.
“Xavier Justo had no senior executive position in London, but carried administrative support with few computer skills,” added the former Genevan barrister. According to the British Commercial Register and after several emails and internal documents were examined by us, it is clear that Xavier was in fact the director of PetroSaudi from June 28, 2010 to April 22, 2011, date of his departure from the City.
Email from Xavier to Tarek’s lawyers
The divorce between Tarek and Xavier was a painful one. Hate mail exchanges flew between them. Tarek regarded himself as “not the kind of person you can drop”. Xavier perhaps knew too much “One word from you about this, and you and I are not finished [sic],” warned Tarek. His former comrade of fortune demanded $6.5 million before leaving. The heat rose on the discussions. Patrick Mahony and the PetroSaudi lawyers intervened and the pay off was reduced to 4 million. Furious, the Genevan left, not without having taken with him 90 gigabytes of sensitive information, in which was hidden the story about 1MDB.
Exchange of emails
“My husband felt threatened. He needed a “life insurance.” But he did not himself steal data” says Laura Justo. “It was a work colleague, who as much disgusted with Tarek and Patrick, who siphoned PetroSaudi servers before releasing their contents. ”
Xavier withdrew to the Thai island of Koh Samui. For months, he dissected the data stolen from his former employer. “He exclaimed: a 70% commission is totally immoral!” recalls the journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown, who inherited the data that Xavier had first tried to cash in first from PetroSaudi itself then the media.
The case came to light early 2015. The following June, after a heavy handed arrest by Thai Special Forces, Xavier appeared in court and openly admitted having betrayed PetroSaudi, going so far as to accuse himself of all manner of evil in the media, including “Le Temps”. In return he received a sentence for 3 years in prison for attempted blackmail.
In Bangkok prison conditions are appalling. Xavier first had to share a cell with 70 other prisoners, later 30 prisoners. It was stained with sweat and urine. The conditions and the crowding prevented him from lying down to sleep. Until his wife paid the jailers for a few more square centimetres of comfort.
The break with Tarek is permanent. Xavier, who is to this date still imprisoned in Thailand (his request for transfer to Switzerland was refused): it is clear his old friends have definitely dropped him. Although it was they who had assured him, as evidenced by recorded conversations between Patrick and Laura Justo, an exit early from prison “by the back door”, in exchange for his confession.
Last July, Laura Justo, who sold all his assets in Thailand, took refuge in Geneva with her 2 year old son. “I was threatened. My husband was forced to plead guilty, his confessions had been dictated by Swiss and British agents engaged by PetroSaudi”, she says today. She has a dossier of 300 pages to support her allegations (including text messages, recordings, photos, etc.).
Amongst the evidence are handwritten letters from Xavier, who had been placed under enhanced surveillance and so had to bribe guards to organize an exchange of correspondence with his wife. From his cell in the Klong Prem prison, he recounts the manipulations he fell victim to and gives his interpretation of the 1MDB affair.
The PetroSaudi servers have been destroyed at the demand of the company’s officials. All that remains is Xavier’s own memory and the and copies of the stolen data, of which the last originals were given by his wife to a henchman of PetroSaudi – a fake police officer from Scotland Yard, according to Laura Justo – in front of the entrance to Geneva Airport.
In recent years, Patrick Mahony, the third member of the trio, has acquired a sumptuous chalet in the Lauenen Valley, at the heart of the Bernese Alps. The British-Swiss binational continues to make, according to several sources, regular visits in Geneva. Partly for family reasons, as well as for entertainment. In a telephone recording with Laura Justo, he explained the end of 2015 – that is after the opening of criminal proceedings in connection with 1MDB – saying he was in debt, his accounts having been frozen by the court. He also spoke about an interview between his lawyer and the MPC whom he alleged had confirmed had “nothing against him” and were just sitting on the matter until the wave of publicity had passed.
Tarek, meanwhile, in the aftermath of 2009 acquired a stake in Bellevue Education, a group of private schools in Switzerland. He also launched his foundation (EDOF) in memory of his late father and became one of the benefactors of the American Mayo Clinic. He has also approached Swiss political circles, whilst being prominent in the most elite of Genevan financial circles. He also took a stake in Renault F1, then invested in Silicon Valley (Robotex and Palantir), and created, via his brother in Geneva, a wealthy portfolio of Swiss real estate. This was all referred to by Xavier also in his exchange of letters with his wife.
Letters smuggled from Xavier to his wife
Our research shows that Obaid holds at least 40 million francs worth of property on the shore of Lake Geneva. We have been able to establish that these acquisitions were all made after 2009, the date of the wondrous contract with 1MDB. A close contact of the Obaid family described them as individuals of great human quality. “They just found a loophole in the system and have benefited. The temptation of easy money has clearly outweighed the potential risks”, the friend added.
The 1MDB case has since tainted the reputation of the Saudi royal family. In its complaint, the American Justice Department accuses the Prince Turki of having transferred more than 20 million, from the “contract of the century” with PetroSaudi into the accounts of the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Some think that this aspect of the case could cost Tarek his powerful Middle Eastern supporters.
Transfer of money
“There are no current legal proceeding directed against our customers” say PetroSaudi’s British lawyers. “Should this be the case in the future, they will be able to prove that they have done nothing wrong”.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian-linked protestors out front, who brandished posters signalling the ‘Hollywood Actor One’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal were banned from entering the movie (to be followed by a Q&A Session), for which they had bought tickets.
The protestors wore masks of Najib Razak, depicted as having funded the Wolf of Wall Street through his step-son Riza Azz, who produced the movie, from money stolen from 1MDB.
Say Sorry And Pay Back The Money
The growing campaign around this issue should have woken up Di Caprio finally to the fact that he now needs to say sorry for his behaviour related to the gas-guzzling, carbon-belching, gorging excesses of his crowd of friends, funded by 1MDB and pay back the money he earned from Wolf of Wall Street.
Otherwise, he must hand in his much vaunted role as Climate Change Ambassador for the UN and quit all this pretence.
Leo (2nd right) and the crowd with Jho (2nd left) the man who always paid
For more than two years Sarawak Report has highlighted Di Caprio’s willing participation in episodes ofunbelievable excess and unparalleled waste of fossil fuels, funded by his friends Jho Low and Riza Aziz, and pointed out that this was money stolen by 1MDB.
There was no way that this actor and his team had not been alerted to the concerns over theft and the palm oil connections of his favourite hosts.
Jho organised and paid for Leo and pals to cavort on 1MDB thief Khadem Al Qubaisi’s Topaz super-yacht during Rio World Cup
And for someone who chooses to lecture the rest of us about burning fossil fuels, his willingness to participate in excesses, particularly on a series of super-yachts, which are the single most gas-guzzling vehicle on the planet, is pretty sickening.
It was Leo who was guest of honour when Jho Low decided it would be a fab idea to hire aprivate jumbo jet, plus a further passenger jet (for overspill guests), in order that the crowd of hedonists could welcome in 2013 twice. First on a yacht in Sydney Harbour and then flying half the globe to Vegas to celebrate it coming in again.
Leo, who stands aloof from ordinary folk (like fellow actors on his sets) apparently liked nothing better than to party on and on with Jho Taek Low and his producer pal Riza.
Jumbo jets hired to fly Leo from Sydney to Vegas for Jho’s ‘Double Dip’ New Year Bash.
As early as 2013 Sarawak Reported cited Hollywood sources, who said that Di Caprio was a regular guest of Jho’s Las Vegas jaunts, where the private jets, accommodation, food, all forms of entertainment and even the gambling chips themselves were funded by Malaysian government connected pals.
We also learnt that Jho PAID his pal $500,000 on top, just for taking part.
The DOJ has now confirmed those jaunts were paid for by stolen 1MDB development fund money.
“On or about July 15, 2012, LOW withdrew an aggregate cash amount of $1,150,090 at the Venetian Casino: $500,000 as a withdrawal of deposit, and $650,090 as redemption of casino chips and other gaming instruments. Several individuals gambled with LOW on this occasion, using his account. These individuals included AZIZ; Red Granite Pictures co-founder McFarland; a lead actor in “The Wolf of Wall Street” (“Hollywood Actor 1”); and a former Chief Investment Officer of 1MDB. [Named as ‘Hollywood Actor 1″ by DOJ, Di Caprio is cited for gambling with stolen 1MDB money]
As long ago as 2013 Sarawak Report (in a series of articles much publicised in Hollywood at the time) had raised the worrying juxtaposition between the billions disappeared from 1MDB and the unexplained wealth of Jho and Riza, so close to the management of the fund themselves, since way back at the launch of Wolf of Wall Street, where Leo starred.
Receiving his Golden Globe for that film Sarawak Report noted that Leo had thanked Jho Low and Riza Aziz for “taking the risk” on the movie. We warned then that Leo was himself taking a risk by hanging out further in such a way with men who can’t explain their wealth.
Yet, as late as this past June, Sarawak Report was able to reveal that Leo continued to be a star invited guest to parties held by Riza at the Beverley Hills mansion, which has now been subject to a seizure order from the Department of Justice on the grounds of money laundering from 1MDB.
Don’t Buy Palm Oil Products
Leo Di Caprio was too grand to acknowledge the reports and warnings of this blog, despite the widespread reproduction in Hollywood media also. Instead, he accepted yet another starring role in a Red Granite Production, posing as America’s founding father George Washington.
Lichtenstein sculpture donated by Low to Leo’s foundation
He also continued to accept huge donations to his eco-charity from Low and Co and presents like Marlon Brando’s former stolen Oscar purchased for him by Low for $600,000 (should he not also hand that back to the descendants of Marlon Brando who reported the object stolen years ago??).
Nevertheless, this jaded sybarite thought fit to step on stage last night and lecture others on how to tighten their own belts to save the world.
Whilst brave Sarawakians and Orang Asli are fighting timber corruption down on the ground, threatened by machete and chainsaw wielding thugs, Leo preferred to tell Westerners to stop buying palm oil products.
Palm Oil is produced on the space left AFTER the valuable tropical timber has been ripped out. Does Leo think that the raiders would leave the trees alone and forgo all the billions they can harvest if Westerners decide not to use the palm oil planted after?
In fact, does Leo really spend much time thinking between the parties?
More to the point, if Leo is so concerned about tropical deforestation (which certainly many are, including Sarawak Report) why has he made super-best-pals with the very pinnacle of the Malaysian Oil Palm elite, who have raided the jungles of that country, burned its oil and now planted oil palm for decades?
Leo kept his ‘Red Carpet’ photos safely inside the cinema where he lectured against using palm oil
The Malaysian political hierarchy of BN are the single most destructive logging force on the entire planet, as any one who has studied the problem surely knows. In particular, Sarawak’s timber barons now threaten every other remaining timber region on earth and have propelled the palm oil phenomenon, not only in East Malaysia, in Kalimantan next door, but in Africa, South America and elsewhere.
Malaysia’s wealth and that of Malaysia’s governing elite is largely fuelled now by Palm Oil. If Riza was rich, surely Leo must have known, palm oil was in the equation somewhere?
Living it up on the yacht with the Malaysia palm oil crowd
After all, Riza’s Dad controls Sime Darby, the largest Oil Palm conglomerate in the entire world. Several of the other biggest global oil palm companies are Malaysian.
Yet, Leo took the party money and celebrated to the rafters, whilst telling the rest of us to stop eating digestive biscuits.
In fact, if Leo were to think deeper he would understand that Malaysia needs to sell its oil palm to keep its major income – and if the world stopped buying Malaysia’s biggest product that would harm the lives of people further and cause the money-making BN politicians to focus further on chopping down what timber is left to fill their coffers.
What actually needs to happen is that oil palm needs to be MANAGED for the greater good and not just for greedy individuals like Leo’s best pals from Malaysia’s top family.
Sober Up And Say Sorry!
If Leo really wants to change the world (and sure we would love his help) he needs to get sober and say sorry.
Cosying up to the Oil Palm elite – BN’s money is founded on the stuff (and logging)
He needs to get brave too and tell it to his greedy, pillaging pals like Riza and Dad Najib, that theirs is no way to run a country.
The jungles should be conserved and former jungle areas should be restored and what oil palm plantations that do remain should be managed for the benefit of many and not the super-enrichment of a few – and to pay for Leo’s parties.
It means being rude to rich people and not succumbing to party bribes. Leo should tighten up his own belt before telling us to quit sweets and soaps. He should give the money back he received from 1MDB.
If you tot up the travel, parties, gambling chips, gas guzzling jets and yacht journeys, substances, payments for entertainments and all the rest, that would make a useful sum to support the anti-dam movement in Sarawak – SCORE (which is backed by 1MDB) is due to destroy yet further jungle and create 12 more mega-carbon producing mega-dam lakes the world could definitely do without.
Do something really useful Leo or stop all this self-promotion!
Following the allegation by the Swiss Attorney General that US$800 million was stolen from the 1MDB subsidiary SRC International, Sarawak Report can reveal details of multi-million ringgit cash deposits made by the Chief Executive of that fund into bank accounts held in the name of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Bank statements made available to Sarawak Report show that at least five separate cash deposits were made into two of Najib’s AmBank accounts in KL, totalling RM3.4 million between 2nd February and 3rd March 2015. The sum represents 34 times his official salary of RM100,000 per month.
First deposits in February to acc no XXX880 – total RM2.1 million
According to the statements these accounts were held in the name of Najib Razak, but managed by none other than SRC’s CEO, Nik Faisal Arif Kamil, to whom the statements were addressed
Nik Faisal, who was a long-standing business associate of the tycoon at the centre of the 1MDB scandal, Jho Low, was employed at the same time as Chief Executive of the much criticised SRC, which had been set up as a subsidiary of 1MDB. Prior to that he had acted as Investment Manager for 1MDB, while simultaneously acting as Investment Manager for the company UBG, at the time when Jho Low secretly deployed 1MDB money to buy out his own shareholding in 2010.
In 2011 SRC was financed by a RM3.81 billion loan from the public pension fund KWAP and Nik Faisal was deployed to be in charge. However SRC has never produced a single audit to explain where that money went.
On Wednesday, the Swiss AG, who together with Singapore’s Commercial Affairs Department has investigated the now closed Singapore branch of BSI Bank, where SRC held its accounts, confirmed the bulk of the money (a staggering $800 million) was misappropriated.
Second cash deposit of RM300,000 in February to Acc No xxx906
Pensioners who have invested their savings in KWAP are entitled to ask why the man who was officially in charge of investing their money through SRC was also privately managing the Prime Minister’s own accounts?
In January, after Malaysia’s own Anti-Corruption Commission investigators provided evidence that a total of at least RM57 million had passed from SRC into three of these private accounts managed by Nik Faisal for the Prime Minister, Malaysia’s own Attorney General, Mohammed Apandi, ruled there was no case to answer.
Najib had claimed he did not know where the money had arrived from and had assumed it was part of a claimed Saudi donation. He has not paid the money back and credit card and bank statements indicate that the bulk was spent on luxury goods as well as cheques written out to as yet unnamed recipients.
Two more cash deposits of over 1 million ringgit into acc no xxxx906 in March
However, mystery continues to surround the multi-million ringgit ‘Urgent Cash Deposits’, which were separately paid into the same bank accounts – and therefore not directly traceable to SRC:
“It means the cash was carried physically into the bank – that is a heck of a lot notes to stuff in a bag then lug up to a till to be counted” one banker commented to Sarawak Report.
Correspondence obtained by investigators shows that once again it was SRC Chief Nik Faisal Arif Kamil who was responsible for handling the cash deposits.
A letter dated 20th January 2014 shows that, as the “Authorised Person” managing Najib’s accounts, Nik Faisal appointed a deputy to make ‘urgent cash deposits’ while he was absent abroad.
As the “Authorised Person” managing Najib’s accounts Nik Faisal appointed a deputy in January 2014 to make ‘urgent cash deposits’ while he was absent abroad.
These deposits, according to the letter signed by the SRC Chief Executive, should be utilised, amongst other things, for the clearance of urgent cheques as per his instruction.
Documents show that the following cash deposits were made into Najib Razak’s AmBank account numbers 2112022011880 and 2112022011906 during the month of Feb till early March 2015: – 04/02/15* RM 600,000 (Jalan Raja Branch) – 05./02/15 RM 1,500,000 ” – 06/02/15 RM 300,000 (Jalan Raja Branch) – 03/03/15 RM 300,000 ” – 04/03/15 RM 700,000 ”
On these occasions the money was all carried in to the Jalan Raja Branch of AmBank, in what would appear to have needed very large suitcases, particularly in the case where RM1,5 million was banked in a single day.
Given that this snapshot of one month’s payments took place a full year after Nik Faisal Arif Kamil wrote to the bank referring to his need to make cash deposits of this nature, it can only be assumed that the RM3.4 million paid into Najib’s accounts in February 2015 were part of an established pattern of similar gross cash injections.
How the Prime Minister was able to acquire such enormous sums of cash outside of his normal official duties has remained unanswered, nor whether any of this money (Najib is also Finance Minister) was subject to tax.
Heavy bags – 10,000 notes for every million ringgit makes a lot to carry into the bank
Sarawak Report has already revealed a similar pattern of hugecash payments into the bank accounts of Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansour.
Members of Najib’s own family have gone on public record to reject certain claims by prime ministerial spokesmen that his ostentatious spending was funded by inheritance. So the question remains as to what the source of these astonishing cash deposits can possibly be?
Although Nik Faisal Arif Kamil has not been seen at his desk for over a year at SRC, he ostensibly remains in post and the fund ostensibly remains in business, having been removed as a subsidiary of 1MDB and placed directly under Najib’s Finance Ministry.
However, the inaction of the fund and its Chief Executive appears now explained, given the Swiss Prosecutor’s allegations that the money has all now been misappropriated and so little remains to be invested. Those “harmed” ie pensioners in KWAP have been invited by the Swiss to register their interest in the Swiss courts.
The authorities in Malaysia ought surely to have tough questions for Nik Faisal as to why having taken up his post at a supposedly independent public fund he subsequently set up three bank accounts in the Prime Ministers name, which he managed on his behalf.
And, moreover, why he then transferred millions of ringgit from SRC into those very same accounts, which were then spent on private luxuries by Najib Razak?
Might they also care to investigate information from official sources that Nik Faisal’s friend and colleague, 1MDB advisor Jho Low, was known to regularly import bags of solid cash, using privileged customs channels, on arrival from Singapore to KL?
Particularly so, given that when further money was siphoned in December 2014 from SRC that money was transferred through none other than the construction company Putrajaya Purdana Sdn Bhd, which is also linked toJho Low?
Money went from SRC via Putrajaya Purdana Contruction and on to Najib’s private accounts
Putrajaya Purdana, formerly owned by the Taib family and Jho Low, was allegedly bought out by PetroSaudi in 2010, although it is now established the money came from 1MDB and Jho Low controlled the purchasing entity Javace Sdn Bhd. It was then sold on again at a shocking discount to Cendana Destini, which in 2012 offloaded 30% of its shares to the public pilgrimage fund, Tabung Haji.
The Swiss AG on Wednesday announced they have yet to receive cooperation regarding SRC’s foreign transactions from Malaysia’s AG, just as the MACC have likewise complained he refused to cooperate on the matter of the SRC money transferred to Najib.
So, little surprise there has been inaction also over this separate matter of all these bags of cash.
*This has been corrected from an earlier error, which wrongly placed the date as 2014