Archive for the 'Corruption' Category

11
Mar
20

Sri Ram to continue prosecuting high-profile cases

New AG Idrus gives Sri Ram mandate to continue prosecuting high-profile cases

KUALA LUMPUR (March 9): Newly appointed Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun has given the mandate to former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who is also senior deputy public prosecutor (DPP), to continue prosecuting four high-profile cases.

The four include former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial, Najib and former 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy’s joint 1MDB audit tampering case, and Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s graft trial.

The fourth case, which has yet to start, is Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s money laundering case.

Sri Ram when contacted confirmed with theedgemarkets.com that he has received the mandate from the new AG.

He, however, declined to reveal further details.

There have been ongoing questions regarding the present prosecution in these cases following Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s appointment as the eighth Prime Minister.

In those cases, Sri Ram has been appointed senior DPP.

Idrus was appointed last Friday as the new AG, replacing Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, who resigned late last month before his two-year contract starting July 2018 expired.

Thomas resigned following the fall of the Pakatan Harapan government led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He tendered his resignation to Dr Mahathir, who had appointed him, replacing his predecessor Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali.

…more
New AG Idrus gives Sri Ram mandate to continue prosecuting high-profile cases
March 09, 2020 – theedgemarkets.com

12
Nov
19

High Court orders Najib to enter defence in SRC case

High Court orders Najib to enter defence in SRC case

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 11): Once Malaysia’s highest ranking politician, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has today been ordered by the High Court to enter his defence for the three criminal breach of trust, an abuse of power and three money laundering charges involving RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali in his decision found the prosecution has proven a prima facie case against the former premier.

The prosecution is led by Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, appointed deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Datuk V Sithambaram, deputy head of the criminal division AG’s Chambers Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusof, Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim and other DPPs.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah along with lawyers Harvinderjit Singh, Farhan Read and others appeared for Najib.

Najib is charged with abuse of power under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission of using his position as the prime minister and Finance Minister to commit bribery involving RM42 million when he participated in or was involved in a decision on behalf of the Malaysian government to provide government guarantees for loans from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) to SRC International amounting to RM4 billion.

He is alleged to have committed the offence at the Prime Minister’s Office, Precinct 1, Putrajaya, Federal Territory of Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011 and Feb 8, 2012. If convicted he can face a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value received or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

The Pekan MP and former Umno president also faces three criminal breach of trust charges as the PM and finance minister and adviser emeritus to SRC, and in those capacities entrusted with the control of funds belonging to SRC totalling RM4 billion, having committed CBT to the sum of RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million.

All three offences under Section 409 of the Penal Code are allegedly carried out between Dec 24, 2014 and Feb 10, 2015 at AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan.

For CBT, the 66-year-old former is liable to a maximum of 20 years in jail, whipping and a fine if convicted. However, due to his age, the whipping would not be imposed.

With regard to money laundering, Najib is alleged to have received RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million respectively, which were proceeds from unlawful activities via Real Time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities (Rentas) into two AmIslamic Bank Bhd accounts of his, bearing the numbers 2112022011880 and 2112022011906 at AmIslamic Bank Bhd, AmBank Group Building, 55 Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur between Dec 26, 2014 and Feb 10, 2015.

If convicted, he stands to face a maximum of 15 years in jail, and a fine of up to RM5 million or five times the amount, whichever is higher, for each charge under Section 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Unlawful Activity 2001.

…more
High Court orders Najib to enter defence in SRC case
November 11, 2019 – theedgemarkets.com

01
Nov
19

Recovery of US$1 billion in assets associated with the 1MDB scandal by the US

United States Reaches Settlement to Recover More Than $700 Million in Assets Allegedly Traceable to Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Department of Justice has reached a settlement of its civil forfeiture cases against assets acquired by Low Taek Jho, aka Jho Low, and his family using funds allegedly misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia’s investment development fund, and laundered through financial institutions in several jurisdictions, including the United States, Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg.

These assets, located in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, are estimated to be worth more than $700 million. With the conclusion of this settlement, together with the prior disposition of other related forfeiture cases, the United States will have recovered or assisted in the recovery of more than $1 billion in assets associated with the 1MDB international money laundering and bribery scheme. This represents the largest recovery to date under the Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative and the largest civil forfeiture ever concluded by the Justice Department.

“As alleged in the complaints, Jho Low and others, including officials in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, engaged in a brazen multi-year conspiracy to launder money embezzled or otherwise misappropriated from 1MDB, and he used those funds, among other things, to engage in extravagant spending sprees, acquiring one-of-kind artwork and luxury real estate, gambling freely at casinos, and propping up his lavish lifestyle,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This settlement agreement forces Low and his family to relinquish hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains that were intended to be used for the benefit of the Malaysian people, and it sends a signal that the United States will not be a safe haven for the proceeds of corruption.”

“A staggering amount of money embezzled from 1MDB at the expense of the people of Malaysia was laundered through the purchase of big-ticket assets in the U.S. and other nations. Thanks to this settlement, one of the men allegedly at the center of this massive scheme will lose all access to hundreds of millions of dollars,” said U.S. Attorney Nicola T. Hanna of the Central District of California. “The message in this case is simple: the United States is not a safe haven for pilfered funds. Our strict anti-money laundering controls are effective, and we will seize assets used by criminals to conceal ill-gotten gains.”

“Today’s settlement with Jho Low demonstrates the continued commitment of the FBI to root out the fraud and selfishness of the corrupt individuals who conspired to pay bribes and launder funds which belong to the Malaysian people,” said FBI Assistant Director Terry Wade of the Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI’s dedicated International Corruption Squads will continue to combat foreign corruption which reaches our shores. We will not allow criminals, foreign or domestic, to use the United States in furtherance of their criminal activities.”

“The action announced today will allow the United States government to deny Mr. Low the use of the assets purchased with this extraordinarily large sum of money he allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB and the people of Malaysia,” said Chief Don Fort of IRS Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI). “Mr. Low allegedly attempted to launder these funds through multiple international jurisdictions and a web of shell corporations, but his greed finally caught up with him. This case is a model for international cooperation in significant cross-border money laundering investigations”

According to the civil forfeiture complaints, from 2009 through 2015, more than $4.5 billion in funds belonging to 1MDB were allegedly misappropriated by high-level officials of 1MDB and their associates, including Low, through a criminal conspiracy involving international money laundering and bribery. 1MDB was created by the government of Malaysia to promote economic development in Malaysia through global partnerships and foreign direct investment, and its funds were intended to be used for improving the well-being of the Malaysian people.

Under the terms of the settlement, Low, his family members, and FFP, a Cayman Islands entity serving as the trustees overseeing the assets at issue in these forfeiture actions, agreed to forfeit all assets subject to pending forfeiture complaints in which they have a potential interest. The trustees are also required to cooperate and assist the Justice Department in the orderly transfer, management and disposition of the relevant assets. From the assets formerly managed by FFP, the United States will release $15 million to Low’s counsel to pay for legal fees and costs. Under the agreement, none of those fees may be returned to Low or his family members. The assets subject to the settlement agreement include high-end real estate in Beverly Hills, New York and London; a luxury boutique hotel in Beverly Hills; and tens of millions of dollars in business investments that Low allegedly made with funds traceable to misappropriated 1MDB monies.

Low separately faces charges in the Eastern District of New York for conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1MDB and for conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to various Malaysian and Emirati officials, and in the District of Columbia for conspiring to make and conceal foreign and conduit campaign contributions during the United States presidential election in 2012. The charges in the indictments are merely allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. This agreement does not release any entity or individual from filed or potential criminal charges.

The assets being forfeited subject to this settlement are in addition to the nearly $140 million in assets the U.S. previously forfeited in connection with Low’s investment in a business entity related to the Park Lane Hotel in New York, as well as a super-yacht, valued at over $120 million, seized by law enforcement authorities in Indonesia at the request of the Justice Department and recovered by Malaysian authorities directly from Indonesia. Following conclusion of today’s settlement, several civil forfeiture complaints arising out of the 1MDB criminal conspiracy remain pending against assets associated with other alleged co-conspirators.

The FBI’s International Corruption Squads in New York City and Los Angeles and the IRS-CI are investigating the case. Deputy Chief Woo S. Lee and Trial Attorneys Kyle R. Freeny, Joshua L. Sohn, Barbara Levy and Jonathan Baum of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Kucera, Michael R. Sew Hoy and Steven R. Welk of the Central District of California are prosecuting the case. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs is providing substantial assistance.

The Department also appreciates the significant assistance provided by the Attorney General’s Chambers of Malaysia, the Royal Malaysian Police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Attorney General’s Chambers of Singapore, the Singapore Police Force-Commercial Affairs Division, the Office of the Attorney General and the Federal Office of Justice of Switzerland, the judicial investigating authority of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Criminal Investigation Department of the Grand-Ducal Police of Luxembourg.

The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is led by a team of dedicated prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, in partnership with federal law enforcement agencies, and often with U.S. Attorney’s Offices, to forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption and, where appropriate, to use those recovered assets to benefit the people harmed by these acts of corruption and abuse of office. In 2015, the FBI formed International Corruption Squads across the country to address national and international implications of foreign corruption. Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through the U.S. should contact federal law enforcement or send an email to kleptocracy@usdoj.gov (link sends e-mail) or https://tips.fbi.gov/.

A civil forfeiture complaint is merely an allegation that money or property was involved in or represents the proceeds of a crime. These allegations are not proven until a court awards judgment in favor of the United States.

…source
United States Reaches Settlement to Recover More Than $700 Million in Assets Allegedly Traceable to Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund
October 30, 2019 – DOJ

07
Sep
19

ECRL and pipeline projects meant to bail out 1MDB, says Najib’s ex-aide

ECRL, two pipeline projects meant to bail out 1MDB, says Najib’s ex-aide

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), the Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline and the Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP) that sought investments from China were proposed projects to bail out debt-riddled 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and its former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd, the High Court heard today.

Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin who formerly worked as special officer to Datuk Seri Najib Razak testified in the latter’s 1MDB trial that the ex-prime minister had made offers to the China-owned companies while clearly aware of the Malaysian sovereign investment firm’s financial woes.

“Datuk Seri Najib offered state enterprise companies to be involved in these infrastructure projects, while at the same time solving the issue of 1MDB and SRC International’s debts.

“The sentence ‘while simultaneously completely resolving 1MDB and SRC (International) debts’ clearly meant that Datuk Seri Najib intended to send the message that this cooperation would also aid 1MDB and SRC International through the bailouts of 1MDB’s debts,” Amhari said, referring to talking points of a meeting he attended in capacity as Najib’s special envoy with Chinese representatives in June 2016.

Ahmari went on a diplomatic visit to China that year together with Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low.

The former Najib aide said he and Low were the only representatives for Malaysia in those meetings with Chinese representatives, but added that Low did most of the talking as the conversations were in Mandarin.

Other documents presented in court today included one that Amhari said was a debt resolution plan for 1MDB and SRC International and prepared by Low titled “Action Point: China-Malaysia Economic Programme”.

…more
ECRL, two pipeline projects meant to bail out 1MDB, says Najib’s ex-aide
4 September 2019 – Malay Mail

03
Sep
19

Only Najib and Jho Low knew ‘full picture’ of 1MDB plan

Only Najib and Jho Low knew ‘full picture’ of 1MDB plan – former aide

NAJIB TRIAL | Only then-prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and financier Jho Low had the “full picture” of manoeuvrings in relation to 1MDB dealings at the time, a former senior aide to Najib told the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

Testifying on the third day of the 1MDB criminal trial of his former boss, Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin (above), also labelled Low a “master manipulator” when dealing with local and foreign parties, and that much of this was known to Najib.

Amhari, 43, was testifying in front of judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah on 1MDB’s joint ventures with PetroSaudi International (PSI) and Aabar Investments PJS BVI (Aabar BVI).

Reading from his witness statement, Amhari explained that he began serving as Najib’s special officer, on loan from Bank Negara Malaysia, from 2008 when the latter was still deputy prime minister.

The eight witness explained that, among others, part of his duties when Najib became premier in 2009 was to coordinate programmes related to 1MDB, under the supervision of the late Azlin Alias, then the economy division director under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Azlin was also Najib’s private secretary at the time.

“Throughout my experience dealing with Jho (Low), I found that he is smart and manipulating when dealing with officers of various levels and ranks, from Malaysia or overseas, most of which was known to Najib.

“Therefore, only Jho and Najib have the fullest picture on the manoeuvrings they were planning.

“Jho was a master manipulator and in this situation, I can now say that I was used for insincere purposes,” Amhari told the court.

It was reported that Aabar BVI was a company set up to appear as Aabar, a legitimate subsidiary of the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

Instead, Aabar BVI was controlled by rogue Aabar officials in coordination with Low (photo).

Amhari further testified that he and Azlin only knew of alleged misappropriation involving the sovereign wealth fund after media reports began surfacing from 2014, as the duo allegedly worked in “silos”.

…more
Only Najib and Jho Low knew ‘full picture’ of 1MDB plan – former aide
3 Sept 2019 – malaysiakini

02
Sep
19

1MDB had PM’s written approval clause (Article 117) inserted before name change from TIA

Najib’s trial: 1MDB had PM’s written approval clause inserted before name change from TIA

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — The Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) Berhad had a new clause inserted — known to effectively give the prime minister the power to have the final say — into the company’s constitution, even before it was renamed as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), documents produced today in court confirmed.

Rafidah Yahaya, assistant company registrar of the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), today confirmed more than 150 documents lodged with CCM by several companies related to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s corruption trial over illegal funds allegedly originating from 1MDB.

Among other things, Rafidah verified TIA’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A) dated February 27, 2009 — the company constitution which established the company.

Apart from the February 27, 2009 document which formed TIA and which had 116 Articles then, Rafidah went on to confirm a separate document dated September 2, 2009 which related to the insertion of clause Article 117.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustafa P. Kunyalam had asked Rafidah to confirm the September 2, 2009 document, which he noted was an amendment to TIA’s Memorandum and Articles of Association and that “in this amendment Article 117 was inserted into 1MDB or TIA’s M&A”.

“True,” Rafidah had replied when testifying during the trial.

The witness was not asked to elaborate on Article 117, but reports have previously shown that it requires a written approval from the prime minister before 1MDB can decide on a wide range of issues.

Rafidah also confirmed a separate document dated September 4, 2009, which contained information on TIA’s change of name to become 1MDB.

The notification for TIA’s name change to be 1MDB was just days after Article 117 was inserted.

Rafidah is the seventh prosecution witness in this trial, and will resume her testimony before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah next Tuesday.

Yesterday, which was also the first day of trial, the first prosecution witness Datuk Farizah Ahmad had verified a long list of administrative positions held by Najib during his political career, including his role as deputy prime minister from 2004 until 2009.

Najib became prime minister and finance minister from April 2009 until May 2018.

In this trial, Najib is facing four counts of abusing his position for his own financial benefit totalling almost RM2.3 billion from the sovereign investment fund and the resulting 21 counts of money-laundering.

Hearing dates have already been fixed for this trial stretching from September until November 14.

About Article 117

At the start of Najib’s trial, lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram had in reading the prosecution’s opening statement said the case involves the funds of 1MDB which was originally TIA, adding that Najib was allegedly “instrumental in changing” the name to 1MDB.

Sri Ram had also said then that Najib had allegedly caused amendments to the company’s articles “to place himself in sole control of important matters” of the company, and that he was also 1MDB board of advisers’ chairman.

“He used that position and that of prime minister and minister of finance to do certain acts and to exert influence over the board of 1MDB to carry out certain abnormal transactions with undue haste,” Sri Ram had said when outlining what the prosecution would seek to prove, adding that Najib’s ultimate aim was allegedly to obtain self-gratification.

In the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report on 1MDB that was released in April 2016, the bipartisan parliamentary committee stated that Article 117 of 1MDB’s M&A outlined three categories of decisions that require the prime minister’s written permission.

The decisions includes any changes to 1MDB’s M&A, and any appointment and removal of 1MDB directors and top management, the report said.

According to the PAC report, the third category of decisions needing the PM’s written nod under Article 117 also cover any financial commitment, investments and restructuring by 1MDB.

The third category is also stated as covering “matters relating to guarantees issued by the Federal Government of Malaysia for the company’s interests, national interests, national security” or any federal government policy.

The federal government is the one that will finalise what amounts to “national interest”, “national security” or policy of the federal government, according to the PAC report’s explanation of Article 117.

In May 2016, the Finance Ministry announced that the 1MDB’s sole shareholder Minister of Finance Incorporated had agreed to fully implement the PAC report’s recommendations, including to dissolve 1MDB’s board of advisers, to remove Article 117 and change all references of “prime minister” to “minister of finance” in 1MDB’s M&A.

…more
Najib’s trial: 1MDB had PM’s written approval clause inserted before name change from TIA
29 August 2019 – Malay Mail

31
Aug
19

The 25 charges Najib is facing in the 1MDB trial

(Graphic source: Malay Mail)

1MDB charges




The dawn of A Better Malaysia!
Rafidah Aziz, Hannah Yeoh, Ambiga at TTDI ceramah

 

Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah

 

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How the 1MDB Scandal Spread Across the World (WSJ)
We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
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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