28
Apr
16

The men who allegedly set up fake Aabar

The men who sold 1MDB on a fake Aabar

1MDB is in quite a pickle after the International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) and Aabar Investment PJS denied links to an Aabar company that 1MDB had been making payments to.

The company, Aabar Investment PJS Ltd or Aabar BVI (British Virgin Islands), had received US$3.5 billion from 1MDB.

1MDB said it transferred the funds to Aabar BVI after being told by then IPIC managing director Khadem al Qubaisi and Aabar chairperson Mohamed Al Husseiny that the BVI firm is an IPIC subsidiary.

So who exactly are these two men alleged to have fooled 1MDB?

Khadem al-Qubaisi

Khadem is well known Emirati businessman, who according to his now defunct personal website, started working in IPIC as an investment manager in 2000, before becoming its managing director (MD) seven years later.

A reported billionaire, Khadem is said to have a penchant for expensive US properties.

The New York Post said this includes Manhattan’s most expensive penthouse worth US$50.9 million, which he has unsuccessfully tried to sell.

Sarawak Report meanwhile has claimed that under him, IPIC’s capital base had shrunk from over US$70 billion to less than US$15 billion.

His career in IPIC then came to an abrupt end when he suddenly left the company’s board and was replaced as MD following a reshuffle decreed by the United Arab Emirates President Khalifa Zayed in April 2015.

Khadem then resigned as chairperson of Aabar properties and other IPIC subsidiaries such as Cepsa and Nova Chemicals.

Mohamed al-Husseiny

Said to be Khadem’s left-hand man, Mohamed has a rather low-public profile, attracting less attention than his boss.

He was appointed as Aabar Investment PJS’ CEO in 2010, and held the post until August last year when he quit to reportedly helm private equity firm Trustbridge.

He is also a director at Falcon Private Bank, and was a board member from 2009 to 2013, and was re-appointed in April last year.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Falcon, a subsidiary of IPIC, is being probed after investigators traced a 2013 transfer of nearly US$700 million from an account at Falcon Private Bank in Singapore to accounts allegedly belonging to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

He is also reported as a principal investor in Red Granite, a Hollywood firm owned by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s stepson Riza Aziz.

At least US$3.5b from 1MDB

Both Khadem and Mohamed are alleged to have set up Aabar BVI in March 2012, two months before it received US$576.94 million from 1MDB as a security deposit.

In total, the company is said to have received at least US$3.5 billion from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.

The Wall Street Journal claims US$155 million of these funds ended up financing Red Granite’s Hollywood film ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’.

Aabar BVI was then liquidated in June last year, as pressure on Najib and 1MDB began picking up steam.

Since then, the UAE has frozen both men’s accounts, and issued travel bans amid an alleged probe into their business dealings.

According to Sarawak Report, Mohamed had also been arrested by Abu Dhabi authorities in late March, and would be extradited to the United States to facilitate in the US’ probe on 1MDB.

…more
The men who sold 1MDB on a fake Aabar
14 April 2016 – malaysiakini

27
Apr
16

Shocking details of the ‘681 American pies’

Confidant of Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Had Central Role at Troubled 1MDB Fund

Jho Low controlled hundreds of millions of dollars of money thanks to network of contacts, amassed riches himself

In March 2013, a young Malaysian financier sent a heads-up to an employee at a Kuala Lumpur bank that “681 American pies” would soon be arriving from overseas.

The sender, Jho Low, emphasized the need for secrecy, according to a transcript of BlackBerry instant messages reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The employee, he wrote, should tell the bank’s chief executive that “PM” didn’t want his name, address or identity-card number to appear on the transaction.

Within days, $681 million arrived in two transfers at AmBank Bhd. to be deposited in the personal account of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, according to documents seen by the Journal.

Global investigators believe those transfers represent a portion of the money diverted from a Malaysian state economic-development fund called 1MDB over several years, according to people familiar with probes in two countries. As they dig deeper, investigators have increased their estimates of siphoned funds to as much as $6 billion, a sharp increase from a few months ago, said a person familiar with one country’s probe.

Mr. Low has been in Mr. Najib’s inner circle, a family friend, according to people who know the prime minister. At several pivotal moments, Mr. Low’s actions, influence and connections have been vital to the alleged diversion of 1MDB funds, a Journal examination found. Investigators describe Mr. Low as playing a central role, with the prime minister his “enabler,” according to the people familiar with probes in two countries.

In addition, according to these people and to investigative documents, Mr. Low himself was the recipient of 1MDB funds, with control over hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mr. Low has denied any wrongdoing. He also has said he was only an occasional and unofficial adviser to 1MDB, which stands for 1Malaysia Development Bhd. The fund has denied wrongdoing as well, and has said it didn’t pay any money to Mr. Najib’s accounts.

Mr. Najib has said he did nothing wrong and derived no personal gain from transfers into his account. Earlier this year, Malaysia’s attorney general said the $681 million deposited in the prime minister’s account was a legal donation from a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family, most of which was later returned, and cleared Mr. Najib of wrongdoing.

AmBank didn’t respond to a request for comment.

As 1MDB sought partners for its investments, Mr. Low provided business connections in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, some of them cultivated in his student years. Global investigators believe that some of these contacts ultimately became part of the diversion of 1MDB money via a web of offshore companies registered in lightly regulated places such as the British Virgin Islands.

Along the way, Mr. Low, 34 years old, appears to have amassed riches as some 1MDB money landed in accounts held by him and members of his family, according to bank records and people familiar with investigations. He became a jet-setter, partying in Las Vegas nightclubs, buying luxury properties on both U.S. coasts, amassing a collection of modern art and befriending Hollywood celebrities.

One was Leonardo DiCaprio, whom Mr. Low introduced to a stepson of Prime Minister Najib, named Riza Aziz. The connection helped a film company the stepson co-owned produce the 2013 DiCaprio film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which was financed with money that originated with 1MDB, according to documents and people familiar with investigations in two countries.

The production company has said it had no reason to believe the source of its financing was irregular and has said it is seeking to repay the financing. Mr. DiCaprio and his representatives didn’t respond to requests for comment.

…more
Confidant of Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Had Central Role at Troubled 1MDB Fund
By TOM WRIGHT and BRADLEY HOPE
April 18, 2016 – Wall Street Journal

27
Apr
16

Ex-1MDB CEO claimed Najib refused revaluation of assets despite concerns

Ex-1MDB CEO claimed Najib refused revaluation of assets despite concerns

Former 1MDB chief executive officer Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi claimed that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had refused the revaluation of assets in 1MDB’s joint-venture with PetroSaudi International (PSI) despite concerns raised by the 1MDB board of directors.

This is according to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report tabled today which referred to Najib in his position as 1MDB board of advisers’ chairperson.

According to the report, the 1MDB board of directors had doubts about the joint-venture in which 1MDB was to commit US$1 billion in cash while PSI would only need to commit at least US$1.5 billion in energy assets to their joint-venture vehicle 1MDB PetroSaudi Ltd.

Edward L Morse, who was appointed by Shahrol Azral to conduct an independent valuation of PSI’s assets on behalf of 1MDB on Sept 29, 2009, was strangely able to produce the valuation report on the very same day.

The PAC report said Morse knew about his appointment as early as September 20, 2009, but noted that the valuation report was completed in eight days, despite the complexity of the assets and initial statements that it would take months.

Furthermore, the valuation of the assets was only completed a day after the joint-venture deal was signed on Sept 28, 2009, in defiance of the conditions set out by the 1MDB board of directors which required the independent valuation be completed beforehand.

The 1MDB board of directors in its meeting on Oct 3, 2009, made note of its unhappiness and also expressed puzzlement at the speed Morse was able to complete the valuation report.

Board wanted Najib to approve second valuer

At a subsequent meeting on Oct 10, 2009, the board of directors sought Najib’s intervention.

“During the meeting, the 1MDB board of directors raised about the need to shortlist 10 credible valuers for the approval of the board of advisers’ chairperson.

“The management can then discuss with PetroSaudi Holdings (Cayman) Ltd about the appointment of a second valuer.

“However, during the 1MDB board meeting on Nov 7, 2009, Shahrol Azral informed that a second valuation of the assets was not needed as the board of advisers’ chairperson (Najib) did not agree with the suggestion but ordered the 1MDB board of directors to appoint a consultancy company to evaluate the ownership of the joint-venture company.

“However, checks by the Auditor-General’s Department found no documentation to prove any appointment of a consultant was made,” said the PAC report.

Ultimately, 1MDB signed the joint-venture deal without knowing for sure if PSI was holding up its end of the bargain with the said assets.

As soon as 1MDB signed the deal on Sept 28, 2009, it was required to deposit its part of US$1 billion in cash within two days, into the joint-venture vehicle 1MDB PetroSaudi Ltd, which was promptly done.

However, the PAC report found that only US$300 million was deposited into the joint-venture account, which was approved by Bank Negara, while US$700 million was diverted without approval to Good Star Ltd.

…more
Ex-1MDB CEO claimed Najib refused revaluation of assets despite concerns
7 Apr 2016 – malaysiakini

26
Apr
16

Think of your future generations when you vote – An open letter to Sarawakians

An open letter to Sarawakians

“Think of your future generations when you vote and not your Chief Minister Adenan.”

Dear Sarawakians,

Are you not Malaysians? Take a look at your identity card or passport and see if you are a foreigner or a Malaysian?

Whether you like it or not or how you feel, you are at the moment still a Malaysian.

The only difference between Sarawak and the peninsula is the 1,000km separation by the South China Sea.

A state is run by the state assemblypersons that you elected and represented like mothers looking after the homes, while the elected Members of Parliament are like fathers working outside in search for a better living conditions for your homes.

To say that the state can only run by the elected state assemblypersons without having the assistant of the elected members of Parliament from the federal government is like saying the homes need only the mothers and not the fathers.

Don’t be naive to believe that whatever happened in the peninsula will not affect Sarawak.

Your Chief Minister, Adenan Satem, is trying to impress and build into your mind that Sarawak is somehow independent and does not need peninsular Malaysia. But, is he right?

Ask yourself the following questions:

Do you pay taxes including the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and where does the money go to? – Umno/BN federal government.

The billions of oil revenue generated and where does the money goes to? – Umno/BN federal government.

Who appointed your chief minister? – The Umno president.

Who allocates and appoints which MPs to be ministers at federal level? – The Umno president.

Who decides how many schools and universities to be built in Sarawak? – Umno/BN federal government.

Why only the Umno president can gives consent to build major infrastructures?

Are the laws and policies (Official secrets Act or OSA, Sedition Act, Prevention of Terrorism Act or Pota, National Security Council or NSC Act, etc) implemented by Umno/BN federal government not affecting you?

If the Umno/BN federal government has to bailout 1MDB, whose money do you think they will use? – Malaysians, the rakyat and that includes you, Sarawakians.

The above are just a few and the control by the Umno/BN federal government are by no means exhaustive.

This statement from your Chief Minister Adenan confirmed that you must think carefully about voting for Umno/BN.

‘Adenan vows to quit office if Umno enters Sarawak’, as reported by Malaysiakini.

Serious questions to ask

The serious question Sarawakians must ask are,

‘Why are everyone including the chief minister so afraid of Umno?’

The answers are plenty and we will just state a few.

In name the federal Government is governed by a coalition called BN but the truth is that Umno is the master that decides everything hence the coalition is now commonly known as Umno/BN.

Religious intolerance and racism have become worse under Umno/BN’s rule for nearly six decades.

Mismanagement, wastage and corruption are not tackled promptly by ministries and the relevant authorities and many have got away with it.

Sarawak is the richest state with blessed natural resources yet it is ranked third among the states which owed the federal government outstanding debts to a tune of RM2.5 billion. Where have the money gone to?

Umno/BN has not being performing as a democratic government should, instead, many are saying the nation is on the way towards a dictatorship and/or a police state.

The latest 1MDB twin mega scandals and how the Umno/BN federal government is doing its best to sweep it away just shows how they protect and defend themselves instead of revealing the truth to the rakyat.

Barring elected MPs from entering Sarawak and deeming them as extremists and undesirables proved Adenan is subservient to Umno/BN, if not what?

So, all in all Umno is a bad taste to Sarawakians including the Chief Minister Adenan.

But

Sarawakians, Umno may not be physically presence in the state but all the hallmarks of Umno controlling it are already there when you keep voting Umno/BN in.

Chief Minister Adenan may personally be a good guy but there is a limit to how much he can actually do (for the rakyat) when he is still under the control of the Umno president in the guise of the Umno/BN federal government.

If you are reading this article you must be quite familiar of what is going on in this country under the rule of Umno/BN for six decades. The fact is that nearly 70 percent of Sarawakians may not know the truth of the bad goings on with Umno/BN and you are duty bound to inform them and the final decision of whom they want to vote is theirs.

Richard Loh

An open letter to Sarawakians
Richard Loh
23 Apr 2016 – malaysiakini

26
Apr
16

PetroSaudi’s US$1 billion ruse

PetroSaudi’s US$1 billion ruse

Barely a month after the Finance Ministry took over Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), a royal suitor came a-knocking.

On Aug 8, 2009, Prince Turki of Saudi Arabia sent a letter to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to introduce PetroSaudi International chief executive Tarek Obaid.

Tarek proposed a joint venture with the fund, now rebranded 1MDB. The deal – US$1 billion from 1MDB and some questionable “oil wells” in Argentina and Turkmenistan said to belong to PetroSaudi International.

But this was Tarek’s first introduction to the fund.

According to the Hansard of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearings on 1MDB, then chief executive officer Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi said Tarek was first introduced to TIA through TIA’s special advisor, businessman Jho Low.

Low’s involvement continued and at one point he showed up at a 1MDB board meeting to speak on behalf of Prince Turki and Tarek to convince the skittish board to sign off on the joint venture.

Ten days after the board first heard of the deal, it was signed on Sept 28, 2009 – leaving the board “angry” and prompting board member Bakke Mohd Saleh to resign.

“The Auditor-General’s Department’s analysis concludes that the decision to invest in the joint venture 1MDB PetroSaudi Limited was done without strategic planning due to the short period of eight days (lead time), was conducted without detailed evaluation and before issues raised by the board was resolved.

“The joint venture agreement also included clauses which did not protect 1MDB’s interest,” the Public Accounts Committee’s report table at the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday says.

Forty-eight hours after the joint venture was inked, an unrelated company – allegedly Low-linked Good Star Limited – is US$700 million richer.

How did this dubious deal take place under everyone’s noses? Follow the chronology of events below.

…more
PetroSaudi’s US$1 billion ruse
Malaysiakini

25
Apr
16

Former BSI banker charged in S’pore following 1MDB probe

Former BSI banker charged in S’pore following 1MDB probe

A former banker with the Singapore arm of Switzerland’s BSI Bank has been charged with money laundering following the city-state’s investigation into 1MDB.

This was confirmed by Singapore’s Attorney-General’s Chambers, according to Singapore-based Today Online.

The report said Yeo Jiawei, a former wealth planner at the bank, was charged with an offence under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act.

“While the charge made no mention of 1MDB or any related entities or individuals, it stemmed from investigations into the fund’s money flows,” said the report which quoted people familiar with the matter.

“Yeo had proposed investment products to 1MDB, and was questioned as part of Singapore’s probe,” it added.

In February, another former BSI banker Yak Yew Chee was also in the news as he applied to the courts to unfreeze his assets.

Based on court filings in that case, it was revealed that Singapore regulators were questioning international banks which had ties with 1MDB, BSI Bank, Aabar Investment PJS and billionaire Jho Low.

Malaysia’s Public Accounts Committee in its report into 1MDB had found that US$700 million from the Malaysian fund’s joint-venture with PetroSaudi International was on Sept 30, 2009, diverted to Good Star Limited, which is unrelated to the joint-venture partners.

A further US$330 million was transferred from 1MDB to Good Star Ltd in May 2011.

Whistleblower site Sarawak Report claimed Good Star was solely owned by Jho Low (photo), an associate of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

It said that the total of US$1.03 billion sent to Good Star went into the company bank account at RBS Coutts, in Zurich, Switzerland.

1MDB’s diverted funds ended up in S’pore

Sarawak Report claimed at least US$530 million of this money was then transferred from RBS Coutts to several accounts belonging to Jho Low at BSI Bank in Singapore between 2011 and 2013.

The Financial Times reported in July last year that Singapore authorities had frozen bank accounts linked to 1MDB on suspicion of money laundering.

The money flow linked to 1MDB is at present being investigated by five countries, including the US, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Switzerland believes that at least US$4 billion of 1MDB’s funds have been misappropriated.

…more
Former BSI banker charged in S’pore following 1MDB probe
22 April 2016 – malaysiakini

25
Apr
16

1MDB’s refusal to cooperate raises suspicions that ‘billions of dollars’ are indeed missing

Tony Pua: 1MDB’s refusal to cooperate raises suspicions that ‘billions of dollars’ are indeed missing

KUALA LUMPUR (April 8): 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) refusal to hand over its foreign bank account statements and that of its foreign subsidiaries to the Auditor-General (AG) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has raised suspicions that the “billions of dollars” which a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report said had gone missing from 1MDB are indeed missing, DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua said today.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on 1MDB was tabled in Parliament yesterday, revealing that the AG was unable to verify actual transactions between the state investment company and Good Star Ltd of US$700 million and US$330 million, as well as a sum of US$3.51 billion paid to British Virgin Islands incorporated Aabar Investment PJS Ltd.

Pua, who is also member of parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara, said although the PAC report on 1MDB never specifically stated that billions were missing officially, the matter remains that billions were unaccounted for and cannot be verified, as confirmed by the AG.

“Hence, if 1MDB is so offended by the missing billions description by WSJ, why didn’t the company show where these monies were with its bank statements and their respective transaction details to the AG, since May 2015?” he said in a statement today.

“In fact, 1MDB’s recalcitrance and utter contempt for the AG over the above, despite countless reminders by the AG and the PAC, only goes to reinforce the global suspicions that the billions of dollars have indeed gone missing,” he added.

He also noted that as a result of 1MDB’s refusal to cooperate, the AG was also unable to ascertain the purported existence and value of a so-called US$940 million worth of “units” parked at the Swiss Bank branch of BSI Bank in Singapore.

1MDB had hit out at WSJ yesterday for running a “misleading” headline on its website that stated a parliament inquiry found billions of dollars had gone missing from 1MDB, recommending criminal probe of senior management.

In another statement, Pua once again called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also the finance minister, to take full responsibility for the transgressions of 1MDB being a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

Pua said Najib had personally signed all written resolutions approving its investments in the failed US$1.83 billion Petrosaudi joint venture, the borrowing of US$6.5 billion of bonds, the multi-billion ringgit acquisition of the power plants and real estate, as well as the sacking of both external auditors — Ernst & Young and KPMG.

He said this was in line with 1MDB’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, which states every substantial transaction carried out by 1MDB requires Najib’s explicit written endorsement.

…more
Tony Pua: 1MDB’s refusal to cooperate raises suspicions that ‘billions of dollars’ are indeed missing
April 8, 2016 – The Edge Markets




All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
Where have 2.6 stars gone?
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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