Friday, April 29, 2016

Crouching (Turn)Bull, Hidden Rabbit Part 4: The DCNS Affair-Japanese "suspect Turnbull’s... business connections to China served France

by Ganesh Sahathevan 


As readers of this blog would be aware, the Turnbulls may well have an on-going, current , business connection with China.
In Crouching (Turn)Bull, Hidden Rabbit Parts 1 & 2 the matter of the exact nature of the Turnbull family's business was discussed in the context of the family's ties to China.

In Part 3,  US Government  suspicions about  Turnbull given his China connections were published,

And now, from The Australian , 30 April 2016,excerpts which show that Japan ,having just lost the AUD 50 billion submarine contract to France's corruption prone DCNS , is also wondering about the Turnbull's China connections, even if The Australian thinks these were in the past:


“They suspect China has been pulling the strings and Turnbull kowtowed to China. They also suspect Turnbull’s (past) business connections to China served France. 

There is speculation in Japan that this decision was taken by the Turnbull government based on its assessment of Australia’s relations with China. This sends a message that Australia will not be too close to Japan and possibly not even too close to the United States, especially in the South China Sea. If that’s true it also has an impact.”
Yoshiji Nogami, a former vice minister for foreign affairs and now president of the Japan Institute for International Affairs, responded with world weary sarcasm.
“So the submarines in operation lost to the submarines on paper,” he said, in reference to the fact that the French submarine does not yet exist but is merely a design concept.
“It’s just a coincidence but it’s very bad timing. The decision was announced only a couple of weeks after the Prime Minister (Turnbull) visited Beijing and Beijing has been interfering in Australian domestic politics.”




Japan sees Chinese hand in decision to overlook Soryu

Australia’s standing in Japan, our most important geo-strategic partner in Asia, is deeply diminished as a result of the decision to reject its offer to build 12 new submarines for us.
On Monday the Turnbull government notified Tokyo, and on Tuesday it announced the successful bidder was the French firm DCNS.
Japanese opinion of us, elite as well as public opinion, is bruised, tender and bitter as a result.
Many Japanese believe Malcolm Turnbull kowtowed to the Chinese, folding under their unsubtle pressure. The Japanese also believe they were collateral damage in Turnbull’s intense hostility to Japan’s friend, Tony Abbott. These views may be completely unjustified but they are widespread.
Some influential Japanese are even starting to publicly question Australia’s reliability as a strategic partner. There is a sense of Australia not being altogether a serious country.
That important Japanese are saying these things in public ought to give Canberra the most serious pause for reflection.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government only ever got involved in our submarines because an Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, asked them to do so.
But then the terms of their engagement kept changing. Australia’s requirements kept changing, as did the identity of our political leadership — the Japanese dealt with three different defence ministers and two different prime ministers over the course of this unhappy saga. Still, all the way along, they were given every reason to think they were still the preferred supplier.
Then their humiliating rejection was leaked in the media before they were told anything about it.
Official Japanese reaction was measured but did not try to conceal Tokyo’s shock and hostility at the outcome.
“The decision was deeply regrettable,” said Japan’s Defence Minister, Gen Nakatani, who demanded a full explanation from Canberra.
On the day of the announcement, I interviewed Seiji Kihara, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, who confirmed that even at the highest levels Japan had expected, right up until the devastating leak against it, that it would be successful.
Kihara’s comments to me reflect the sober caution of a professional foreign ministry.
“Because the submarine was the symbol of Japan-Australia defence co-operation, and Japan brought both the civilian and government (sectors) together on the project, it is very disappointing that we were not chosen,” he said.
“We accept the decision with humility and sincerity, and quite separately we wish to develop further security co-operation between Japan and Australia.”
You don’t have to travel far beyond the most elevated reaches of official Japanese politeness, however, to get a much starker and more alarming assessment.
Yoichi Funabashi is by a long distance the most influential foreign affairs commentator in modern Japan. Now head of a prestigious think tank, he is a former newspaper editor, a widely read columnist and author of countless internationally acclaimed books on Asian politics, geo-strategic issues, regional co-operation and the US alliance system. He is no hawk, being associated with the centre left of politics, and he knows Australia intimately.
So his words are doubly telling.
“The initial reaction to the deal from the Japanese government and on the part of the defence community has been very much negative,” he says.
“They suspect China has been pulling the strings and Turnbull kowtowed to China. They also suspect Turnbull’s (past) business connections to China served France. All these conspiracy theories are running wild.
“The Abe administration, and the Japanese government generally, were very uncomfortable with the previous Labor government in Canberra. They were very happy to have their soulmate, Tony Abbott, a man they saw as similar to John Howard, replace Labor. Then they were sorry to see Abbott replaced by Turnbull. But they never expected that the higher level promise to Abe from Abbott would be so shabbily trashed.”
Funabashi sees wider strategic implications from the debacle, and they are not good implications for Australia.
“It has been a rude awakening for Abe to see how shallow that US-Japan-Australia facade is — that semi-alliance, just how easily shattered that was.”
Funabashi believes strategic hard heads in Washington will also draw negative lessons about Australia from this episode.
“The US also is naturally very disappointed in this decision,” he says. “They have not hidden their desire to have Australia choose the Soryu (Japanese) submarine. So they too will take a more sober view of trilateral strategic co-operation.”
It is worth pausing here to note Funabashi’s statement of the obvious: that while remaining formally neutral in public, and respecting Australia’s sovereignty, and understanding that ultimately Canberra would choose the best submarine capability available (if one was clearly much better than the others), the Americans nonetheless enthusiastically backed the Japanese and wanted them to win.
Everyone seriously associated with this issue internationally knows this to be the case. That some government officials and one commercial bidder were able to hoodwink several credulous Australian commentators into claiming the Americans were not backing the Japanese is a depressing testament to the shallowness and provincialism of the Australian media and often the strategic debate. Very few commentators have independent foreign sources against whom they can test and verify the stories they are told locally, especially by government. This is a function of Australia’s isolation, and as a result the Australian view of reality in many policy sectors is deeply skewed and inaccurate.
Funabashi also fully acknowledges the weakness of the Japanese bid, its failure to understand how quickly Australian domestic politics was moving or to hire smart local lobbyists early in the process.
Some measure of Funabashi’s analysis is widely shared in Japan and across Asia.
The subs decision was front page news in the Asian editions of The Financial Times andThe Wall Street Journal. The Journal ran an editorial lamenting the opportunity lost for enhanced Australia-Japan strategic co-operation. The editorial’s cross heading was lethal for Australia’s reputation. It said: “Australia rejects a Japanese bid after Chinese pressure.”
The critical reaction is virtually universal among Japanese familiar with international relations.
In Kyoto I meet Hiroshi Nakanishi, an international relations scholar at Kyoto University. He offers the double barrelled Japanese response. The decision won’t destroy Australia-Japan co-operation, he says, but on the other hand: “When it comes to the concrete implementation of co-operation, it might have a long-term impact.”
And he makes this further judgment: “There is speculation in Japan that this decision was taken by the Turnbull government based on its assessment of Australia’s relations with China. This sends a message that Australia will not be too close to Japan and possibly not even too close to the United States, especially in the South China Sea. If that’s true it also has an impact.”
Yoshiji Nogami, a former vice minister for foreign affairs and now president of the Japan Institute for International Affairs, responded with world weary sarcasm.
“So the submarines in operation lost to the submarines on paper,” he said, in reference to the fact that the French submarine does not yet exist but is merely a design concept.
“It’s just a coincidence but it’s very bad timing. The decision was announced only a couple of weeks after the Prime Minister (Turnbull) visited Beijing and Beijing has been interfering in Australian domestic politics.”
Like most people I spoke to in Japan in a week of intensive conversations, Nogami believes, or at least says he believes, that Australia-Japan strategic co-operation will continue to grow because both parties want and need it, though Funabashi cautions there may need to be a cooling-off period.
The sense of disappointment and even betrayal runs across both sides of Japanese politics.
Akihisa Nagashima is a leading politician in the centre left opposition Democratic Party.
He is a former vice minister for defence and national security adviser.
I asked Nagashima if the submarine decision was a setback to vital strategic operation in Asia.
“Yes it is,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been just the submarine itself but all the training and co-operation that goes with it. It’s not just the physical asset; many, many other factors would deepen co-operation.”
However, in a perfectly polite Japanese fashion, Nagashima traces a series of events in Australian politics that affects, damagingly, the way Tokyo looks at Australia now.
“After Australia asked Japan for assistance in this matter, the decision is a result of joint efforts,” he says, “so I don’t want to blame one side.”
And here is the kicker.
“I wonder how the transition in Australian domestic politics affected the submarine deal, from Abbott to Turnbull.
“Recently Turnbull brought a thousand business people to visit Beijing. I just wonder what these actions reveal, and the case of the Chinese so-called private company getting the lease of the Port of Darwin from an Australian government. There was a series of events and the question is how the series of events affected the submarine deal. I don’t know, maybe it was a fair process, I believe.”
Across the board, the Japanese recognise the inadequacies and failings of their own actions. Mitsubishi and Kawasaki were too slow in making a full-blooded commercial commitment to the project. Because they thought they were dealing with a friend and ally, the Japanese weren’t cynical enough in their appreciation of Australian politics.
The Japanese have certainly learnt a lot of lessons from this. One of them, dolefully, may be not to put too much faith and trust in Australia, especially in strategic matters; not to take Australia altogether seriously as a strategic player, even in its own interests.
From Australia’s point of view, this has been one of the worst and most damaging episodes in the postwar relationship with Japan.
This was an episode of vast consequence and epic complexity.
You feel that a lot more information will come out about it in the future.
One story doing the rounds in Japan is that Barack Obama gave Turnbull a pass to choose the French at the very last moment. That would be consistent with the Americans supporting the Japanese all the way through but not going to the wire for them.
And the bigger regional consequences?
Beijing feels delightedly vindicated. It bullied Australia with crude public warnings against choosing the Japanese submarines, and from Beijing’s point of view that bullying worked a treat.
The lessons? Australia can be bullied effectively, and bullying is a good tactic.
Japan feels isolated once more and this isolation reinforces its security anxiety. This anxiety, many analysts believe, in the long run could tempt Japan to look once more at an independent nuclear option. If none of its allies is reliable, it may need to guarantee absolutely its own security, as Donald Trump has suggested.
Asia more widely sees Australia buckling to Chinese pressure. The US is reminded once more of the fickleness of allies.
These perceptions may be unfair but they are widespread.
Finally, if all that our leaders routinely say about the complex security environment we face is true, if their words on the need for us to engage Asia have any meaning, and if all the blather that everyone talks about relative American decline and potential strategic retrenchment in Asia is true, then one thing we need almost more than anything else is a close relationship with Japan.
This whole sorry, messed-up episode has set that back a long, long way. Don’t be fooled for a minute into thinking that doesn’t matter

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Payne's admission requires investigation of submarine contracts: Is l'affaire Adelaide a repeat of DCNS's l'affaire Karachi?



by Ganesh Sahathevan

Australian Defence Minsiter Marise Payne protested on ABC last night that her boyfriend's "attempt" at contacting DCNS in Paris just a week before she announced DCNS as winner of the Competitive Evaluation Process for AUD 50 billion contract for the construction of 12 submarines, was nothing more than what any trade minister would do as part of the Process. 
In Payne's words ::


MARISE PAYNE: No. I understand that that is part of a series of meetings that any Trade Minister from Australia from any state in the Commonwealth, frankly, would endeavour to have with participants in the CEP (Competitive Evaluation Process) process.

As explained in the previous post :
The CEP was basically a fashion parade, so it is hard to see why there was any need for anyone to seek a meeting with any  bidder

unless it was to provide assistance with the bidding process.

Payne has , in effect ,admitted that there has been at least an attempt to do so  by her boyfriend, Stuart Ayres. This would not of course be the first time that DCNS has managed to combine elections, election funding ,and a contract for submarines.
l'affaire Karachi is yet to be resolved.
END 

Doing business with the corruption prone DCNS-Australian Defence Minister's boyfriend "tried" to meet with DCNS in France last week

by Ganesh Sahathevan

An excerpt from a transcript of the interview between Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne and journalist Emma Alberici: 

EMMA ALBERICI: OK. I just want to shift to something else because we learned today that your partner, Stuart Ayres, who is the NSW Minister for Trade, was last week in France and sought a meeting with DCNS, which apparently did not go ahead. I want to know: did you try in any way to intervene to seek that meeting between Stuart Ayres and members of DCNS last week?

MARISE PAYNE: No. I understand that that is part of a series of meetings that any Trade Minister from Australia from any state in the Commonwealth, frankly, would endeavour to have with participants in the CEP (Competitive Evaluation Process process. As you've indicated, the meeting didn't proceed, I understand from his statement due to times not merging with the appropriate program that he had. And finally, I in no way approached Defence or engaged with Defence on this matter.

EMMA ALBERICI: Or anybody else in France ...

MARISE PAYNE: No


Ayres is Minister for Trade, Tourism & Major Events, Minister for Sport,New South Wales.The state government has no role whatsoever in defence, which is a federal matter.The CEP was basically a fashion parade, so it is hard to see why there was any need for any meetings between politicians and CEP participants.

Ayres may not have "engaged with Defence" but he is clearly constantly engaging with the Minister For Defence.
Had these same facts presented in any other country in this region awarding any kind of defence contract, media and the opposition would by now demand a full investigation into the Minister's financial affairs,and for a review of the award of the contract. In  Australia on the other hand it is assumed that our politicians are above corruption.
END 
For Reference

Doing business with the corruption prone DCNS-Are Australian politicians ,civil servants, exceptionally honest,pure ,possessing moral fortitude lacking in others?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Doing business with the corruption prone DCNS-Are Australian politicians ,civil servants, exceptionally honest,pure ,possessing moral fortitude lacking in others?



by Ganesh Sahatevan

It is being reported that DCNS of France is to be awarded the AUD 50 billion contract to build Australia's next generation of submarines.

Meanwhile, there has been no commentary in Australia about DCNS's history of corruption.

In Malaysia:

Malaysia's government has denied allegations of corruption in its $1.25 billion purchase of two submarines as it responded for the first time to a French investigation into alleged bribery payments in the deal.

The allegations have emerged in a French investigative case examining whether French shipbuilding giant DCNS paid bribes to Malaysian officials.

Malaysian human rights group SUARAM and its French lawyers have alleged that DCNS bought classified Malaysian defence ministry documents to help its bid for the 1 billion euro ($1.25 billion) contract it won in 2002. They say investigation documents show that about 36 million euros ($44.90 million) were paid by Thales International, a subsidiary of DCNS, to a company called Terasasi, controlled by a former associate of Najib.



In Taiwan:


The Taiwanese government has filed a US$98.4 million lawsuit against the French state-owned DCNS over a long-running, massive corruption case that puts added pressure on the defense contractor at a time when it faces multiple investigations that could bring down top French politicians.

The allegations, announced by Taiwan’s Defense Minister Kao Hua-chun in Parliament last week, are also an indication that the French contractors apparently continued with illegal activities well after the original scandal was uncovered. Kao said additional kickbacks prohibited by a 1996 order agreement have been found relating to supplying parts for the problem-plagued stealth frigates, which cost US$2.8 billion in 1991. Taiwan is seeking the additional penalty for alleged violation of the 1996 agreement, bringing the total to well over US$1 billion.


The purchase of the six frigates has been marked by earlier allegations of massive corruption, multiple murders, and demands for fines against the French shipbuilder for US$950 million, most of it already owed by the defense contractor and the French state under international court rulings. The French government has already agreed to pay €457 million in damages to Taiwan, which is a big enough amount to require an emergency amendment to the national operating budget.


In Pakistan,The Karachi Affair
So convoluted, one report is reproduced in full:



Political scandal brews over 11 Frenchmen killed in Pakistan
By Michael Cosgrove Jun 19, 2009 in Politics
A major political scandal is gaining momentum in France after revelations that 11 Frenchmen killed in a 2002 Karachi bus bombing were victims of a Pakistani plot to punish France for non-payment of commission on a deal involving the sale of submarines.








Not only is it a scandal here in France, but it may well turn into an international affair.
The Karachi bombing victims were all engineers employed by the DCN, the French company which holds a quasi-monopoly on the construction of French warships and submarines. The attack also killed three Pakistanis and injured many others.
They were in Pakistan to work on three Agosta 90 B submarines which were sold to the Pakistan military in a deal signed in 1994. Payment was to be spread over ten years and, as is usual in business deals involving military hardware, commission was promised to the middlemen involved. These middlemen included Pakistani and Saudi Arabian nationals. Saudi Arabia has traditionally been a source of cash funding for Pakistan, and its role in the deal was that it paid up front for the submarines.
The attack shocked the French, who immediately sent investigators to Karachi. They almost instantly claimed that Al Qaida, which was very active at that time, was behind the bombing. The affair slowly drifted out of public view in the months that followed.
It has resurfaced with a bang with revelations that the attack was indeed carried out by Islamic militants, but with the help of the Pakistani military and secret services.
The claims have been made by family members of those killed, lawyers representing them, and even judges, in the context of the official enquiry into the bombing, which is still ongoing.
At the time the deal was signed, French politicians, notably Edouard Balladur and Jacques Chirac, were trying to outdo each other in their search for campaign funds for the upcoming Presidential elections in 1995. Balladur was the French Prime Minister at that time, and as such he was an essential player in any international arms deal.
Balladur's Budget Minister at the time was current French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy supported Balladur's candidature for the Presidency, a gesture for which Chirac would never forgive him.
The deal represented a lot of money and a source of campaign funding too.
Balladur was beaten in the election however and Chirac became President. Soon afterward, he ordered the cancellation of the progressive commission payments being made to senior Pakistani military personnel and others.
“The Al Qaida track has been totally abandoned. The mobile for the attack now appears to be linked to the stopping of commission payments. This is turning into a state affair” said Olivier Morice, lawyer for seven of the bereaved families, after a recent meeting with anti-terrorist judges Marc TrĂ©vidic and Yves Jannier.
“The commission payments (to Pakistan) were stopped when Jaques Chirac became President in 1995 in order that retro-commissions (..destined for the financing of Balladur’s campaign..) were not paid” he continued.
One of the anti-terrorist judges “said that this scenario had a cruel logic to it” said Magali Drouet, the daughter of one of the victims.
In this scenario, the attack was carried out in reprisals for the non-payment of commission. The current Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, was the Investment Minister at the time in his wife Benazir Bhutto’s government. Zardari has been accused of corruption and money laundering many times.
Drouet went on to say that “this is a state-level affair which implicates France, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, a source of funding for Pakistan.”
This new track was uncovered last year by police but has only just been revealed. The police, acting under orders from judges, were investigating affairs of corruption and arms deals. They found documents on the premises of the DCN (now called DCNS) which revealed the names of companies who transited arms sales commissions.
One of the documents mentions the “instrumentalisation” of Islamic militants by Pakistani Secret Service and Army personnel. It says that “the Karachi attack was carried out thanks to connivance from within the Army and from elements of support for Islamic guerrillas” within the Pakistani Secret Services. It goes on to mention that the bombing was carried out “for financial reasons....designed to obtain the payment of unpaid commission.”
In another strange development, investigators are also looking into the judicial aspects of the bombing enquiry carried out at the time by French police in Pakistan. The judicial enquiry was suddenly halted in 2003.
Initially included in the evidence was a collection of photographs taken by Randall Bennett, the head of the American diplomatic security service in Pakistan at that time. Bennett also ran the investigation into the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, the American journalist later executed by Al Qaida.
The photographs in question were those that Bennett took at the scene of the bombing. They were later destroyed under a French court orde

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/274427#ixzz46tS0Ih00


END 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Ministry of Finance Inc has defaulted, Minister For Finance And Prime Minister Must Go; Only Tengku Razaleigh can restore confidence

by Ganesh Sahathevan



Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah



The repercussions of IPIC putting both 1 MDB and  the  Malaysian Minister Of Finance Inc (MOF) into default are already being felt, with the sell-off of 1 MDB bonds which started yesterday, Monday 18 April 2016.


1MDB’s dollar bond prices slumped on Monday (April 18) to the lowest since November, according to Bloomberg-compiled prices. The yield rose 252 basis points to 8.27 percent. It was trading around 5.7 percent last week from almost 10 percent in October as graft allegations intensified.

The MOF Inc's attempts to localize the matter to 1 MDB is irrelevant, given that international financial markets will now penalize Malaysia for the default, regardless of the MOF's assurances. The damage has been done.

Given the circumstances Malaysia has no choice but to have the Minister for Finance and Prime Minister, Najib Razak,  replaced immediately in order to restore confidence in the country's finances and its management. It may have been possible elsewhere to simply remove the Minister For Finance but given the reality of Malaysian politics where the Prime Minister is also the Finance Minister, the post of prime minister must also be vacated. 


A failure to do so will cost the country, for what has now occurred is a loss of confidence. Changing the leadership is the only way in which confidence can be restored. This comment is made without reference to the ongoing scandal that Najib finds himself in. Such is the enormity of the situation. 


The  MOF has attempted to limit damage to 1 MDB, but, given the now 2 year history of scandal, debt defaults, and the like at 1 MDB overseen by Najib only the most committed of his supporters are likely to believe Najib
Indeed, 1 MDB official seem to understand the gravity of the consequences , at least for themselves:

Officials at 1MDB have told the Malaysian Ministry of Finance that a default on the $3.5 billion in debt could push investors to sell off their currency and bonds, potentially tarnishing the country’s image in global financial markets, according to the memo viewed by the Journal. Cross-default clauses in other 1MDB agreements could also be triggered if the deal between IPIC and 1MDB collapses, putting the fund in default on several billion dollars more of debt, according to the memo viewed by the Journal.

There is an immdeiate need to have a new Prime Minister and Minister For Finance appointed and the only person within the Malaysia's constellation of leaders who fits the bill is the former Minister For Finance and potential prime minister, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. It is hard to see anyone else capable of commanding the respect and confidence of buyers and sellers in the  international financial markets who  are deciding the country's fate even as this commentary is written.

END 


Sunday, April 17, 2016

1 MDB bond default : The Al-Nahyans of Abu Dhabi can respond to Najib's belligerence with Xavier Jutso, Brian Lord,Khadem Al-Qubaisi etc etc etc......

by Ganesh Sahathevan



Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan  
President of the United Arab Emirates,
the Emir of Abu Dhabi and the commander
of the Union Defence Force.





Leslie Lopez of ST Singapore has just reported:


Last week, IPIC informed 1MDB that the KL entity was in default of a complex bond agreement between the two, according to Malaysian government officials and financial executives close to the situation.

Malaysian government officials, who spoke to The Straits Times on condition of anonymity, said IPIC has informally told 1MDB that it has no intention of honouring the interest payment because of the alleged default of the bond agreement. For its part, the Najib government has taken the position that it will not step in to cover the payment because it has done nothing wrong.



This is a classic case of believing in one's own publicity, and of forgetting that in any legal dispute the facts of the matter are almost always paramount.In this matter the facts are simple, well known, count against Najib, 1 MDB and Malaysia.  The  facts in essence are these:

a) Sitting in a Thai prison courtesy of a compliant Thai judiciary is a PetroSaudi director named Xavier Justo who has an entire database of emails detailing Najib's "friend of the family"  Low Taek Jho's dealings with PetroSaudi and IPIC , which have attracted the attention of government investigators from the US, Switzerland, the UK, Singapore , Hong Kong and Luxembourg.

b) Sitting pretty in London and Dubai is one Brian Lord, the former QCHQ man who at various times let it be known that he has full and complete access to the Justo database and more.

c) Sitting one presumes with a very high degree anxiety in Dubai under house arrest is Khadem Al-Qubaisi, the former managing director of IPIC, who has clearly angered Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who heads IPIC , and the brother of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi ruler and United Arab Emirates president.


All three , if not at least Lord and Khadem, are well within the control of the Al-Nahyans. All too easy for the family to rebut Najib's "we have dome nothing wrong", in fora and media of their choosing.
All this over payments that IPIC has assumed subject to a guarantee it provided 1 MDB.
END















http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/state-fund-dispute-puts-1mdb-at-risk-of-default

Saturday, April 16, 2016

I admit Saudi Arabia has used a fraudulent BVI company to channel hundreds of millions to Najib:Saudi FM's admission read together with "Prince Saud" letter throws up interesting matters

by Ganesh Sahathevan


Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir is reported to have said with regards the USD 681 million found in PM Najib Razak's private accounts: 

"It is a genuine donation with nothing expected in return. And we are also fully aware that the attorney general of Malaysia has thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing," Al-Jubeir said. "So, as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed."

Adel is however not the only person whose statements have been relied on to explain the donation,there is this letter from a certain "Prince Saud": 


In the letter "Prince Saud" makes reference to Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia, and states that it is a company under his control which he will use to channel funds to PM Najib. That company has been shown to be part of a scam currently investigated by authorities in a number of jurisdictions. (See Sarawak Report story below). Adel may consider the matter closed,but his confirmation of that "donation" opens up issues on a number of regulatory fronts all over the world.
Most serious of these is his apparent admission to financing jihadi activities in South East 
Asia. The matter is described in the story at this link:

Saudi Government admits to using shell companies,tax havens, to finance Islamists in South East Asia-Wells Fargo ,Australia's ANZ ,now implicated in terrorist financing

END 







NEW 1MDB BOMBSHELL - Second Jho Low Company Paid Hundreds of Millions To Both Najib Razak AND Khadem Al Qubaisi - EXCLUSIVE!

NEW 1MDB BOMBSHELL - Second Jho Low Company Paid Hundreds of Millions To Both Najib Razak AND Khadem Al Qubaisi - EXCLUSIVE!

Khadem signs the deal while Najib looks on - but where did all the money go from the 1MDB/Aabar "strategic partnership"?
Khadem signs the deal while Najib looks on – but where did all the money go from the 1MDB/Aabar “strategic partnership”?
Sarawak Report can reveal that a second Jho Low company, Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited, has paid hundreds of millions of dollars into the personal accounts of both the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak and also the ex-Chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Aabar fund, Khadem al Qubaisi.
Aabar, a subsidiary of the IPIC sovereign wealth fund, has been enmeshed in a series of highly questionable and loss making deals with the scandal-torn Malaysian development fund 1MDB, which is directly controlled by Razak, using Jho Low as his proxy.
A Sarawak Report investigation has established that Blackstone, a BVI registered company which gives an address in Singapore, has been cited as the sender of a series of enormous dollar currency payments to both men between 2011 and 2012.  Our information includes telegraphic transfer documents passed through the American banking system.
The off-shore company uses a tactic familiar to watchers of Jho Low, in that it apparently seeks to give the impression that it is associated with the US global investment giant, the Blackstone Group. However, there is no link whatsoever between the legitimate multi-national and this secretive shell company.
Jho Low and Li Lin live it up on the high life
Jho Low and Li Lin enjoying the high life
In fact documents obtained by international investigators have ascertained that the signatory for the company is none other that Jho Low’s deputy, Seet Li Lin.  Seet also acted in the same capacity for the notorious companyGood Star Limited, which lies at the heart of the 1MDB scandal and of which Low was the sole shareholder.
The records show that before it was liquidated in early 2013, just three years after starting operations, Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited transferred well over half a billion dollars into accounts belonging to the two men. This was exactly the period when two major loss-making power purchase deals were funded through billion dollar bond issues raised under a joint guarantee by the two funds. Much of that money appears to be unaccounted for, forming a large part of 1MDB’s current debt problems.

Khadem scooped nearly half a billion dollars (RM2 bn)

Documents obtained by Sarawak Report show that four separate payments were made to Khadem Al Qubaisi’s Luxembourg account at Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschilde Europe (headquartered in Switzerland) in 2012.  The sums were enormous.
Firstly, on 29th May 2012 Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners transfered US$158,000,000 million into Al Qubaisi’s account, held under the name of the The Vasco Trust, of which he was the sole beneficial owner.
Documents in the possession of SR confirm Al Qubaisi is the shareholder of Vasco Trust
Blackstone BVI is registered under an address in an office rental block in Singapore – 36 Robinson Road.  Documents in the possession of SR confirm Al Qubaisi is the shareholder of Vasco Trust
Three further payments on August 3rd, October 31st and December 4th comprised US$100,750,000, US$129,000,000 and US$85,000,000 respectively.  It makes for a total of just under half a billion dollars – over two billion ringgit at current exchange rates, paid from a shady BVI company into the hands of the salaried Abu Dhabi fund manager over just six months.
How did this ex-fund manager legitimately earn this sum - or was it a kickback?
How did this ex-fund manager legitimately earn this sum – or was it a kickback?
Insiders have confirmed to Sarawak Report that these payments were regarded as kickbacks linked to Al Qubaisi’s involvement in 1MDB.

Tell tale connections with Good Star, Jho Low and Najib Razak

There was just one other major external transaction paid into Al Qubaisi’s Vasco account during the same financial year – US$20,750,000 was transferred from the other secret Jho Low owned company Good Star Limited on 20th February 2013.
Transfer from Good Star into the same beneficiary account belonging to Vasco at BPERE - acc no 390 610
Transfer from Good Star into the same beneficiary account belonging to Vasco at BPERE – acc no 390 610
Had there been a shortfall on the agreed Blackstone transfers, which was made up by Jho Low’s other company Good Star?
Otherwise, can the now sacked Mr Al Qubaisi explain these extraordinary secret payments into his accounts, just in the very period when Aabar and 1MDB were entering into a series of ‘joint investment’ deals from which billions have gone missing?

Payment to the Prime Minister!

There is an even more serious angle to this explosive set of discoveries.  Sarawak Report has learnt that the on-going 1MDB investigation into Najib Razak’s AmPrivate Bank accounts in KL has also established that enormous payments came in from the very same source a few months earlier.
In 2011 Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited paid a total of US$170 million into the same private account belonging to Najib Razak which later received US$680 million in 2013, as reported by Sarawak Report, along with the Wall Street Journal.
Sarawak Report has already reported there had been earlier payments, which had brought the final sum in the account to well over a billion dollars.  After the election over US$600 million was in fact sent exported back into personal accounts belonging to the Prime Minister in Singapore (now frozen) and the AmBank account closed.
Party mode - Al Qubaisi has poured hundreds of millions into buying up nightclubs in Vegas
Party mode – Al Qubaisi has poured hundreds of millions into buying up nightclubs in Vegas
We are now able to disclose that the first of those series of payments, totalling US$170 million came from Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited (BVI) and it was supported by the very same identical letter of guarantee provided by the bogus sheikh ‘Saud Abdulaziz Majid al-Saud’, which also backed the later US$680 million ‘donation’ via yet another off-shore BVI company, Tanore Finance Corporation, in 2013.
As we have detailed, Saud Abdulaziz Majid al-Saud has turned out not to exist and the series of identical letters provide no details of his address or credentials.
No wonder the task force investigations into 1MDB ended up querying these enormous payments as part of their remit into Malaysia’s missing development funds.
The official investigators had clearly concluded (before they were rudely shut down, arrested, sacked and in one case murdered) that these transfers into Najib’s accounts were directly linked to the disappearances of vast sums of money from the company’s accounts.

History of an impersonator company

So what of this BVI based company, which suddenly transferred so much money into the accounts of the bosses behind Aabar and 1MDB?
Blackstone Group does indeed have a subsidiary called Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia.  However, the major global player has responded to enquiries to confirm that the almost identically named Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners (BVI) has nothing to do with their business.
Research into the shadowy world of BVI corporations has revealed that this particular shell company was incorporated on November 1st 2010 under the name of Foreign FX Trading Limited and changed its name to Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners on 26th May 2011:
Short lived history of a shell company used to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars
Short lived history of a shell company used to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars
Having transferred the hundreds of millions of dollars into both Najib and Khadem Al Qubaisi’s accounts the company was put into liquidation on 30th April 2013, just before the Malaysian general election.
Time to close down this short-lived multi-million dollar operation?
Time to close down this short-lived multi-million dollar operation?
Sarawak Report contends that the explanation for this series of events is that Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited (BVI) was merely another of Jho Low’s secretive vehicles for transferring money, which he habitually named to sound as if they belonged to more credible working concerns.
Other such companies which we have identified as being linked to Jho Low’s laundering activities are PetroSaudi International Limited (Seychelles); SRG (Strategic Resouces Global); Aabar Investments PJSLtd and Merryl Capital.
Najib must explain why his anonymous donor appears to be Jho Low
Najib must explain why his anonymous donor appears to be Jho Low
The same London based company, Offshore Incorporations Centre, was employed to incorporate both Good Star Limited in the Seychelles and the Blackstone bogus company in BVI.  Sarawak Report has already confirmedthat international investigators have now established that the sole shareholder of Good Star is indeed none other than Jho Low.
Prime Minister Najib must surely now address what has now become increasingly plain and obvious, which is that much of the money recorded as having gone missing from the 1MDB/Aabar joint ventures, appears to now have been traced into bank accounts belonging to the two main players in these transactions – himself and Khadem Al Qubaisi.
The facilitator in the Blackstone BVI transactions was plainly once more Jho Low, using yet another of his web of off-shore vehicles to shift the cash, before he liquidated it (like Good Star) in an attempt to obliterate the evidence.