Archive for the 'Scandals' Category

26
May
18

Dragnet Widens Around Ousted Malaysian Leader Najib Razak

Dragnet Widens Around Ousted Malaysian Leader Najib Razak

On top of the 1MDB probe, investigations to include a 12-year-old murder case and abuse of power allegations

KUALA LUMPUR—Malaysia’s new government is taking an aggressive stance with its criminal investigation of former Prime Minister Najib Razak and his family, broadening its probes beyond a multibillion-dollar sovereign-wealth fund scandal to include a 12-year-old murder case and abuse of power allegations.

The moves underscore a new commitment to the rule of law in Malaysia, whose voters, angry about corruption, last week threw out Mr. Najib’s long-ruling coalition government. Since taking power, the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad blocked Mr. Najib from flying into exile in Indonesia, put scores of former government officials on no-fly lists and placed others under effective house arrest.

On Friday at 2 a.m., police ended raids of three luxury apartments owned by Mr. Najib’s family, taking away 284 boxes of handbags, including Hermès Birkins, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars each, as well as 72 suitcases containing cash and jewelry, according to police. Assets seized in other raids in recent days included 50 handbags, with brands such as Gucci, Chanel and Oscar de la Renta, as well as Rolex and Patek Philippe watches and cash totaling $157,000, police said. Many Malaysians view the collection of Birkin bags owned by Mr. Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, as a symbol of his regime’s excesses. Police were still attempting to drill into a safe in Mr. Najib’s official Kuala Lumpur residence.

Mr. Najib couldn’t be reached for comment, but people familiar with the thinking in his circle said they believe Mr. Mahathir is ignoring due process. One of the people said Mr. Najib is “being treated in a way unbefitting for a former prime minister.”

Mr. Mahathir has said his priority is probing allegations of corruption at a sovereign-wealth fund that was overseen by Mr. Najib. The fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, is at the center of global investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and other foreign agencies into allegations that $4.5 billion was stolen and used to buy mansions in the U.S., a superyacht, and to finance a Hollywood film company.

The government on Thursday named members of a task force—mainly bureaucrats and civilians—that will coordinate the work of Malaysian law-enforcement agencies probing the 1MDB scandal. A document drawn up by the task force, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, alleges Mr. Najib abused his role as prime minister to quash earlier attempts to investigate the scandal in July 2015.

The document—a road map for prosecuting the 1MDB affair—alleges Mr. Najib blocked requests by the nation’s anticorruption commission and the central bank to cooperate with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and other foreign agencies. It says Mr. Najib gave false evidence to the attorney general when he said $681 million that entered his personal accounts—money the U.S. Justice Department has said came from 1MDB—was a donation from Saudi Arabia. The attorney general cleared Mr. Najib of wrongdoing. Mr. Najib and the fund have denied wrongdoing and pledged to cooperate with any lawful investigation.

…more
Dragnet Widens Around Ousted Malaysian Leader Najib Razak
By Tom Wright and
Yantoultra Ngui
May 18, 2018 – WSJ

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24
May
18

Malaysia police seize hundreds of designer handbags from Najib Razak’s flat

Malaysia police seize hundreds of designer handbags from Najib Razak’s flat

Raid at property belonging to the former PM was part of an investigation into his role in the 1MDB scandal

Malaysian police have seized 284 boxes of designer handbags and 72 bags of cash, jewellery and watches from an apartment owned by former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, as part of an investigation into his role in the 1MDB scandal.

The police began a search of his properties on Wednesday night and it was still ongoing on Friday morning. The raid on the properties in Kuala Lumpur’s Pavilion residences, where condominiums cost up to 30m ringett ($8m), produced the biggest haul yet, with police seen carting hundreds of orange boxes containing designer Hermes Birkin handbags into five police trucks.

Local media reported that police also emerged with a money counting machine.

Amar Singh, director of police commercial crime investigations, confirmed that a total of six properties had been searched so far. “The total sum worth of items cannot be ascertained now,” Singh told reporters on early Friday morning. “We’ll be counting and will know by tomorrow. He added: “The number of jewellery is rather big.”
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The raid is part of a police investigation into Najib’s role in the 1MDB scandal, in which billions of dollars of a government fund went missing and were embezzled around the world, funding yachts, Picasso paintings and Hollywood films. Some $681m of the fund was alleged to have been transferred directly into Najib’s personal bank account, and the 1MDB money also allegedly funded a 22-carat pink diamond necklace, worth $27.3m, for his wife Rosmah Mansor.

Najib was cleared of all wrongdoing while he was in power, but the investigation is widely perceived to have been a farce, and some in his administration have since accused him of covering up the scandal.

The lavish lifestyle of Najib and Rosmah, who is notorious for her love of designer handbags and expensive jewellery, has long been a source of contention in Malaysia. The annual salary of the prime minister is only $70,000, whereas one Birkin handbag can cost up to $300,000. It is also a stark contrast to the frugal lifestyle of the newly elected prime minister, 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, who was recently spotted going about his official duties in sandals costing $4.

Najib’s large family home in an affluent neighbourhood of Kuala Lumpur was also part of the raid, with the road to his house cordoned off.

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Malaysia police seize hundreds of designer handbags from Najib Razak’s flat
18 May 2018 – The Guardian

23
May
18

MACC said to consider probing Najib for abuse of power

MACC said to consider probing Najib for abuse of power

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s government is considering investigating former leader Datuk Seri Najib Razak for abuse of power, as it intensifies efforts to seek evidence on wrongdoing at scandal-plagued state fund 1MDB just days after taking office.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission laid out in recent days a comprehensive list detailing the potential scope of investigations into 1MDB, according to people who have seen the document. Examples of potential abuse of power by Najib that the agency identified include witness suppression and the blocking of a central bank criminal case.

Najib had indicated at the outset that he was “prepared and willing to extend his fullest cooperation to the relevant authorities,” his lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal said in a statement yesterday in response to a raid on his client’s home. A spokesman for Najib referred Bloomberg News to this statement when asked for comment. A spokesperson for the anti-graft agency couldn’t immediately comment when reached today.

The move to lay out the scope of a renewed probe underscores how fast Mahathir’s government is moving to revive an investigation into 1MDB, which was set up in 2009 under Najib’s watch to support local infrastructure projects. Since the 92-year old defeated Najib’s government in a shock election victory last week, he has barred his former protege from leaving the country; and police have searched Najib’s home and seized documents from his former office this week.

Mahathir said Wednesday he will seek to recover funds diverted from 1MDB by reaching out to authorities in Switzerland, the US, Singapore and other jurisdictions. A parliamentary committee in 2016 identified at least US$4.2 billion (RM16.7 billion) in irregular transactions by the fund.

Mahathir, who was Najib’s long-term ally and who is back in power after a prior stint as premier from 1981 to 2003, accused him on the campaign trail of being a “thief” over alleged graft at 1MDB. Najib has denied any wrongdoing and was cleared by the attorney general at the time, while the fund has repeatedly denied any misconduct.

The 1MDB scandal spawned global probes as investigators tracked a money trail stretching from Switzerland to Singapore and the US Department of Justice alleges that US$3.5 billion from the fund went missing. — Bloomberg

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MACC said to consider probing Najib for abuse of power
18 May 2018 – MMO

22
May
18

Astounding! Condo search nets 284 luxury handbags, 72 bags of cash, jewellery

Astounding! Condo search nets 284 luxury handbags, 72 bags of cash, jewellery

ASTONISHING HAUL! Seventy-two bags of cash and jewellery as well as 284 boxes of high-end designer handbags.

These make up the list of items seized by the police from two condominium units linked to former premier Najib Abdul Razak in the upmarket Pavillion Residence in Kuala Lumpur tonight.

The haul was so enormous that Bukit Aman commercial crime investigation department director Amar Singh Ishar Singh could not provide an estimate of the value.

He told reporters that the items were seized in connection with the ongoing police investigations into the 1MDB scandal.

“This is the result of our search in one of six premises.

“There were 72 luggage bags filled with items including jewellery, other valuables and cash of various denominations,” he said.

All the seized items were earlier taken down using shopping trolleys, and loaded onto five police trucks, which left the scene at around 2.15am.

Quizzed on details of the handbags, Amar said it included luxury brands Hermes and Birkin.

When asked on the value of items seized so far, Amar said he was unable to provide an estimate as police have yet to make their detailed calculations.

“We have seized the bags. We know they contain cash and jewellery.

“Exactly how much cash I will not be able to say or exactly how much jewellery.

“But the number of jewellery is rather big,” he added.

As for the owners of the units involved, Amar only said one of the units belonged to a “Tan Sri” and declined to reveal further details.

Amar also added that the police have completed their search of the luxury units here.

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Astounding! Condo search nets 284 luxury handbags, 72 bags of cash, jewellery
18 May 2018 – malaysiakini

21
May
18

Lawyer: Make ex-cops crown witnesses in Altantuya murder case

Lawyer: Make ex-cops crown witnesses in Altantuya murder case

Gurbachan Singh says the Selangor Pardons Board should grant Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri clemency to allow them to cooperate with prosecutors.

PETALING JAYA: A senior criminal lawyer has suggested that the death sentence on two former policemen be commuted into a jail term for them to be turned crown witnesses in the murder case of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Speaking to FMT, Gurbachan Singh said prosecutors could reopen the case to bring justice to the “unseen hands” responsible for other crimes including murder and abetment.

“But first, the Selangor Pardons Board should grant them clemency to cooperate with prosecutors in order to give justice to Altantuya’s family,” he said, referring to former police officers Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri.

Responding to the call by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim for Sirul to face a new trial, the lawyer added that convicted persons could not be retried for the same crime.

Sirul, who fled Malaysia after being sentenced to death in 2009 for the killing of Altantuya, is now in Australian custody. He previously claimed he had been ordered by “important people” to murder Altantuya in 2006.

The Australian government will not repatriate him to Malaysia as it is against its policy to impose capital punishment on those convicted for serious crimes.

Azilah meanwhile is on death row in the Kajang prison pending a decision by the pardons board to commute the capital punishment to a jail term.

Altantuya was the lover of Abdul Razak Baginda – a former close associate of now-deposed prime minister Najib Razak – who was accused of arranging kickbacks for the purchase of French submarines in 2002.

Abdul Razak, who is said to have abetted in the crime, was acquitted without his defence called. The government did not appeal.

Sirul and Azilah were initially freed by the Court of Appeal in 2013, causing the government to take the case to the Federal Court. The Federal Court in 2015 set aside the acquittal and affirmed the original findings of the High Court.

Gurbachan said police should also investigate the role played by Deputy Supt Musa Safri, a former aide de camp of Najib, who was not called to give evidence.

The Federal Court in its judgment had held that his testimony could not have helped in the defence of Azilah and Sirul.

In an 88-page judgment, Suriyadi Halim Omar said: “It (Musa’s testimony) is only useful to Abdul Razak (Baginda). It merely confirmed evidence adduced from Altantuya’s cousin and friend that he had a relationship with the deceased.”

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Lawyer: Make ex-cops crown witnesses in Altantuya murder case
May 18, 2018 – FMT

20
May
18

PM says ex-AG told him about plan to charge Najib

PM says ex-AG told him about plan to charge Najib

Former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail disclosed how he was preparing to charge Najib Abdul Razak during a meeting with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.

“I wanted to know what happened when he (Gani) was removed and what was the result of his investigation.

“He (Gani) claimed he was preparing to charge Najib and that morning he was deprived of his position,” he told reporters at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya this afternoon.

Gani was heading the special task force investigating the RM2.6 billion in the former prime minister’s bank account and the SRC International case.

He was replaced with Mohamed Apandi Ali midway during the probe on health reasons, igniting speculation of a cover-up.

During this period, a charge sheet against Najib also made the rounds but the previous administration dismissed this as fake.

Others on the task force were former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar, former Bank Negara governor Zeti Akthar Aziz, former MACC chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed.

Since winning the 14th general election, Mahathir has trained his guns on Gani’s successor, who cleared Najib of any wrongdoing.

He accused Apandi of concealing evidence related to 1MDB.

Apandi, who has since been instructed to go on unrecorded leave, has denied the allegation.

Najib had described the RM2.6 billion as a donation from a Saudi royalty but international investigations suggested that it might have originated from 1MDB.

The former premier also denied abusing public funds for personal gain.

Yesterday, Mahathir said Najib could be charged soon and dismissed the possibility of striking a deal with his former protege.

…more
PM says ex-AG told him about plan to charge Najib
16 May 2018 – malaysiakini

19
May
18

Dr M: Scale of 1MDB wrongdoing greater than what public knows

Dr M: Scale of 1MDB wrongdoing greater than what public knows

The extent of wrongdoing in 1MDB is far greater than what is publicly known, revealed Dr Mahathir Mohamad today.

The prime minister drew the conclusion after being briefed by police and auditor-general Madinah Mohamad over the scandal involving the state investment firm.

“It was clear that the wrongdoing is more than what was known by the public, and by me.

“We will take action to lodge a police report. When there is an opportunity we will make the arrest, we will get the person involved in the wrongdoing,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mahathir said the government will write to US, Singapore and Switzerland to repatriate allegedly misappropriated 1MDB-linked funds.

“We will recover this money from US, Switzerland and Singapore, probably Luxembourg also. We will contact them to recover the money.

“There was no admission from the administration of Najib Abdul Razak that the money belonged to us, therefore no application to claim the funds.

“But, we want to state that the money was from 1MDB and Malaysia, we will apply to recover the funds,” he added.

Mahathir noted he was unclear of the amount of funds linked to the sovereign fund still overseas, but he knew there was US$4.5 billion in US.

He added that it is up to the police whether to summon Najib to record a statement over the scandal.

…more
Dr M: Scale of 1MDB wrongdoing greater than what public knows
16 May 2018 – malaysiakini




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

 

Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah

 

What happened to 1MDB’s money? – CNBC Video
Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 1) (Part 2)
BN govt is directing attention to distant past and distant future, in order to distract people from present misdeeds and poor governance
Felda - A picture is worth a thousand words
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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