Sunday, July 23, 2017

Najib's other 1MDB,or DCNS money? USD 300 million which he did not deny receiving, but which the DOJ has not located. How much in Hong Kong, and is this a missing Scorpene link?

by Ganesh Sahathevan




Monies were transferred from Najib's AMislamic Bank 
and Singapore   accounts to accounts at Credit Suisse's
 branch in Hong Kong:(see story below)


The latest US DOJ complaint not only demolished what was left of the "Saudi donor" story, it also showed how some of that USD 700 million from 1 MDB was used to  buy the USD 25 Million Rosmah Pink.

However,there is a further USD 300 million which even the DOJ seems to know nothing of.That additional sum was reported in the ABC 4 Corners story by LInton Besser ,aired last year:


LINTON BESSER: The Malaysian government says Najib Razak has returned more than US$600 million dollars he received in 2013 and closed two of his accounts.
But Four Corners has established that three new accounts were opened in the prime minister's name and the money just kept on pouring in.
In June 2014, for example, the bank was notified of another 50 million British pounds that was to be wired into the prime minister's name. There were also a series of cash deposits that raised money laundering alerts here inside the bank.
A high-level source has shown Four Corners the Malaysian prime minister's bank accounts. The banking documents reveal an extraordinary and steady flow of money between 2011 and 2014.
By June 26, 2012, the bank records show deposits worth US$75 million from a Saudi prince, US$80 million from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance and another US$120 million from a shell company in the British Virgin Islands.
On the 21st of March, 2013, the prime minister received US$620 million from a different company registered there. Four days later, the same donor deposited another US$61 million.
By the 10th of April, 2013, the prime minister had received more than US$1 billion.

The Malaysian Government did not dispute the above facts, and instead bragged that the ABC story only proved that the money in Najib's account was from the Saudis.That assertion was based on the bank statements shown to the ABC's Besser,which were part of the story that went to air.
We now know that the documents were false with regards the source of funds. The sums on the other hand seem to be accurate. This blog has reported the existence of Najib's accounts in Hong Kong so it is only logical to ask if that HK accounts have been used to launder the funds.
Given the French Scorpene indictment, it must also be asked if those accounts have been used to launder funds said to have been received by Najib fron DCNS.
END 

References 


French list Malaysian PM Najib Razak in bribery case file

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is facing a new front in a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal bedevilling his administration, with French investigators probing whether he received bribes as defence minister in a $1.2 billion submarine contract.
The investigation centres on Thales International Asia’s 2002 contract to deliver two submarines to the Malaysian government and whether the company’s former president, Bernard Baiocco, indirectly paid kickbacks to Mr Najib to secure the deal.
Mr Baiocco was indicted last December for allegedly paying commissions to Abdul Razak ­Baginda, a political analyst purportedly close friend of Mr Najib.
But Britain’s Financial Times cited sources close to the investigation — including Mr Baiocco’s lawyer Jean-Yves Le Borgne — confirming that judicial documents also named Mr Najib as a suspected recipient.
All three men have denied any wrongdoing, with Mr Baginda telling the Financial Times he received $US47 million in legitimate consulting fees for his role in securing the Scorpene submarine deal but paid no bribes.
A Malaysian government spokesman dismissed the ­allegations as “baseless smears for political gain”, saying Mr Najib had received no correspondence from French prosecutors.
The Paris probe come less than a fortnight after Malaysian Attorney-General Mohamad Apandi Ali cleared Mr Najib over a $US681m transfer into his bank account from accounts connected with the 1MDB state investment fund.
Mr Apandi found the money was a personal gift from the Saudi royal family to help fund Mr Najib’s 2013 election campaign and to counter the influence of ­Islamic extremism in Malaysia — an explanation Riyadh has ­refused to confirm or deny.
However, the Sarawak Report, an online journalism site which has led coverage of 1MDB scandal, offered an alternative narrative. It alleged the single Saudi source cited in some reports to have confirmed the gift was Nawaf Obaid, a spin doctor employed on occasions and at some cost by the Malaysian government to bolster its image.
The former spin doctor, who previously held a post in the Saudi regime, is also connected with PetroSaudi, a Middle East oil company implicated in the ­alleged misappropriation of as much as $US4 billion from 1MDB, through his brother Tarek Obaid who was its former director, the report claimed.
PetroSaudi is now under ­investigation by Swiss, Singaporean and US agencies on suspicion of having helped siphon hundreds of millions from 1MDB.
The Sarawak Report claims to have traced the money trail from PetroSaudi’s own emails, thanks to former PetroSaudi employee turned whistleblower Xavier Justo, who is in a Thai jail for blackmailing his former ­employer.
It also questions suggestions the donation to Mr Najib may have come in part from the late Saudi king Abdullah’s seventh son Prince Turki, a 50 per cent shareholder in PetroSaudi, citing JPMorgan confirmation statements showing $US77m actually flowed out of 1MDB into Prince Turki’s accounts.
While Mr Najib has urged ­Malaysians to accept his exoneration and move on from the issue, the Paris probe means the Prime Minister is facing another front in his battle to remain in power.
He has already removed officials who have questioned his ­involvement in the 1MDB affair, and this week forced the resignation of Mukhriz Mahathir, chief minister of Kedah State and son of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Both men have played key roles in a so-far unsuccessful campaign within the ruling UMNO party to unseat Mr Najib.
The Scorpene submarine deal now under French investigation is notorious in Malaysia because of its link to the murder of a young Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaaribu. Shaaribu had been in a ­relationship with Mr Baginda and acted as a translator during the deal but later accused him of failing to pay her $500,000 fee.
Sirul Azhar Umar, one of two police officers from a government close protection unit convicted of her murder but freed on bail pending an appeal, fled to Australia where he is being held in Sydney’s Villawood detention centre.
Rumours that both Mr Baginda and the Prime Minister himself were linked to her murder have dogged Mr Najib, though both were cleared of involvement during a 2008 trial.

===================================================





 

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Overlooked in this week's reporting is this revelation ,with regards a  report lodged with Hong Kong Police by UMNO whistle-blower Khairuddin Hassan:


Four other companies are also suspect, added Khairuddin, because Najib is a signatory here and the accounts of the companies show that a total of RM1.125 billion has been kept at the Hong Kong branch of Credit Suisse. “I have requested the Hong Kong police to conduct comprehensive and detailed investigations on the financial sources of the companies concerned and their transactions.”
“I requested the authorities concerned to investigate Alliance Assets International Ltd; Cityfield Enterprises Ltd; Bartingale International Ltd; Wonder Quest Investments Ltd. All these companies have Najib as the signatory.

Khairuddin, at the same time, also lodged another set of police reports on Jynwell Capital (HK); Jynwell Charitable Foundation; and Strategic Resources (Global Ltd), all owned by Jho Low and family.


It has been established that the report included this document,which suggests that monies were transferred from Najib's AMislamic Bank and Singapore   accounts to accounts at Credit Suisse's branch in Hong Kong:


 The report against Larry Low concerns the Low family's takeover of Coastal Energy , a company formerly listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.It has been alleged that the takeover was funded in part with funds from 1 MDB.The report points the finger at Tan Sri Larry Low as the mastermind of his son Jho Low's adventures. The reports taken together suggest  a base of operations  in Hong Kong.
END







Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Did DCNS Australia CEO Sean Costello's shock resignation have anything to do with Joel Branchut?

by Ganesh Sahathevan 



DCNS Australia's CEO Sean Costello left the company suddenly earlier this year:


THE captain of the French bid for Australia’s $50 billion Future Submarines project has quit less than a year after winning the contract. Adelaide-based Sean Costello resigned on Friday, a move that will likely shock the French and the Australian defence communities.


Intelligence OnLine had this to say about Costello and the winning of the submarine contract:

The contract also appears to be a victory for Marie-Pierre de Bailliencourt, the deputy managing director of DCNS who led the negotiations, even though she came under some criticism from the DCNS’ export Department (IOL 745). Locally, DCNS had Sean Costello, who was hired as the head of its local office in order to help win the contract. Costello was the chief-of-staff of the defence minister in the previous government and in the past also advised the minister on naval procurement.

The French company had Costello work with a discreet assistant, Joel Branchut, a former French military attache in Canberra who is used to highly complex financial deals. He was most notably involved in the negotiations in the early 1990S for the Sawari II contract for the supply of three warships to Riyadh (IOL 751).


The Sawari II contracts are said to have involved kickbacks that were then sent back to France to fund election campaigns:

The former defence minister Charles Millon, who served under (former President Jacques) Chirac, was quoted in a French newspaper as having testified to the existence of the kickbacks to French political campaigns. "We had an intimate conviction that there were kickbacks. That was the case of the Agosta and Sawari II contracts," he told the investigating judge Renaud van Ruymbeke in November (2009).

As  this writer has said many times before;L'Affaire Adelaide is fast becoming the latest version of L'Affaire Karachi.
END 

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 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

DCNS's Philippe Japiot charged with corruption, spent much time in Australia before the award of the Australian AUD 50 Billion contract

by Ganesh Sahathevan


DCNS's  Philippe Japiot spent much time in Australia before the award of the Australian AUD 50 Billion contract to DCNS. He has just been charged  with corruption in the matter of  the DCNS Malaysian submarine contract. 

The Australian DCNS deal raises a number of issues.These include a number that have been published on this blog:

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





END 




References





Tuesday, July 18, 2017

DCNS executives indicted for corruption in the sale of DCNS submarines to Malaysia-Meanwhile DCNS Australian AUD 50 Billion contract remains beyond scrutiny

by Ganesh Sahathevan

As reported by AFP:

France indicts 2 former bosses in Malaysia submarine graft case

The two are Philippe Japiot, former chairman of the French naval dockyards unit DCNI, and Jean-Paul Perrier, former chief executive of the French defence and electronics giant Thales.


PARIS: French investigators have indicted two former top executives in a long-running probe into alleged kickbacks from the 2002 sale of submarines to Malaysia, sources close to the inquiry said on Tuesday (Jul 18).

The two are Philippe Japiot, former chairman of the French naval dockyards unit DCNI, and Jean-Paul Perrier, former chief executive of the French defence and electronics giant Thales, they said.

The two, interviewed in May, have both been indicted for corruption, one of the sources said.

Japiot has additionally been indicted for "abuse of social assets" and Perrier for "complicity in the abuse of social assets," one of the sources said.

The investigation was launched in 2010 in response to a complaint by Malaysian rights group Suaram.

It centres on allegations that the French submarine manufacturer paid commission of more than €114 million (US$132 million) to a purported shell company linked to Abdul Razak Baginda, a former close associate of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Advertisement


Najib was defence minister when the US$1.1-billion deal for two Scorpene-class submarines was sealed.

From 2001 to 2007, Japiot headed the DCNI, the international branch of France's centuries-old naval shipbuilding operations, which changed its name last month from DCNS to Naval Group.

The French state holds just under two-thirds of Naval Group, and Thales slightly more than a third.

Two other people are under investigation in France in the same case: Dominique Castellan, also a former DCNI president, and Bernard Baiocco, former president of Thales International Asia.

All four deny any wrongdoing and the Malaysian government has said the contract was free of corruption.

The affair emerged spectacularly in 2006, when Abdul Razak's Mongolian mistress - who was said to have demanded a payoff for working as a language translator in the deal - was shot dead and her body blown up with plastic explosives near Kuala Lumpur.



A Malaysian court later cleared Abdul Razak of abetting the murder, sparking an outcry and opposition allegations of a cover-up.


Source: AFP/de

REFERENCES 



Thursday, April 20, 2017


DCNS's l'affaire Adelaide takes shape: A horse, Defence Minister Marise Payne,and Lockheed Martin

by Ganesh Sahathevan


Image result for marise payne dcns
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (right) and Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne 

This writer has previously noted that DCNS's AUD 50 Billion submarine contract entered into with the Government of Australia seems not terribly different from other scandals the company has gotten into, including the the so-called l'affaire Karachi.

Now it seems the Defence Minister Marise Payne's love of race horses may provide some further clues.The Australian newspaper reported this morning :

Defence Minister Marise Payne co-owns a racehorse with a lobbyist whose company represents firms seeking lucrative Australian military contracts, including the Future Frigate project worth up to $35 billion.
Senator Payne is a co-owner of Tarakona, a largely unsuccessful four-year-old gelding, with a group that includes Matt Hingerty, managing director and chief executive of lobbying firm Barton Deakin.

Barton Deakin is recorded on the federal government lobbyist register as representing defence contractors, including Lockheed Martin Overseas Group, builder of the F-35 Strike Fighter; and Fincantieri SpA, the Italian shipbuilding company.


Not reported is the fact that Lockheed Martin Corp " won a bid to design and build the combat system " for the DCNS Barracuda submarines".

That contract is far ranging ,According to a DefenseNews report published on 18 April 2017:


Lockheed Martin will report this summer results of studies for potential suppliers of sonar and other critical systems for Australia’s planned fleet of 12 new attack submarines, said Mike Oliver, program director for the future submarine combat system.


“Lockheed Martin has been conducting trade studies in a number of key areas of the submarine’s design,” he told Defense News. “We are examining all options and will deliver the results of those trade studies in June to the customer.”

Sonar is among the key systems, the company’s program team said.
“The choice of sonar systems and arrays is in the hands of Lockheed Martin,” Marie-Pierre de Bailliencourt, general manager at DCNS, told Defense News..


Canberra in September selected Lockheed as combat system integrator, partnering with DCNS, which will design, build and service a fleet of 12 ocean-going diesel-electric boats. The program is worth AUS$50 billion ($38.1 billion) over some 35 years.

A survey of sonar and other systems marks a first step in a selection process that Thales hopes to win through its Australian subsidiary.


The French electronics company expects to secure more than €1 billion of deals, with €100 million per boat based on sonar systems, electronic warfare and periscopes. A towed sonar array is part of the kit.

END

DCNS executives indicted for corruption in the sale of DCNS submarines to Malaysia-Meanwhile DCNS Australian AUD 50 Billion contract remains beyond scrutiny

by Ganesh Sahathevan

As reported by AFP:

France indicts 2 former bosses in Malaysia submarine graft case

The two are Philippe Japiot, former chairman of the French naval dockyards unit DCNI, and Jean-Paul Perrier, former chief executive of the French defence and electronics giant Thales.


PARIS: French investigators have indicted two former top executives in a long-running probe into alleged kickbacks from the 2002 sale of submarines to Malaysia, sources close to the inquiry said on Tuesday (Jul 18).

The two are Philippe Japiot, former chairman of the French naval dockyards unit DCNI, and Jean-Paul Perrier, former chief executive of the French defence and electronics giant Thales, they said.

The two, interviewed in May, have both been indicted for corruption, one of the sources said.

Japiot has additionally been indicted for "abuse of social assets" and Perrier for "complicity in the abuse of social assets," one of the sources said.

The investigation was launched in 2010 in response to a complaint by Malaysian rights group Suaram.

It centres on allegations that the French submarine manufacturer paid commission of more than €114 million (US$132 million) to a purported shell company linked to Abdul Razak Baginda, a former close associate of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Advertisement


Najib was defence minister when the US$1.1-billion deal for two Scorpene-class submarines was sealed.

From 2001 to 2007, Japiot headed the DCNI, the international branch of France's centuries-old naval shipbuilding operations, which changed its name last month from DCNS to Naval Group.

The French state holds just under two-thirds of Naval Group, and Thales slightly more than a third.

Two other people are under investigation in France in the same case: Dominique Castellan, also a former DCNI president, and Bernard Baiocco, former president of Thales International Asia.

All four deny any wrongdoing and the Malaysian government has said the contract was free of corruption.

The affair emerged spectacularly in 2006, when Abdul Razak's Mongolian mistress - who was said to have demanded a payoff for working as a language translator in the deal - was shot dead and her body blown up with plastic explosives near Kuala Lumpur.



A Malaysian court later cleared Abdul Razak of abetting the murder, sparking an outcry and opposition allegations of a cover-up.


Source: AFP/de

REFERENCES 



Thursday, April 20, 2017


DCNS's l'affaire Adelaide takes shape: A horse, Defence Minister Marise Payne,and Lockheed Martin

by Ganesh Sahathevan


Image result for marise payne dcns
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (right) and Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne 

This writer has previously noted that DCNS's AUD 50 Billion submarine contract entered into with the Government of Australia seems not terribly different from other scandals the company has gotten into, including the the so-called l'affaire Karachi.

Now it seems the Defence Minister Marise Payne's love of race horses may provide some further clues.The Australian newspaper reported this morning :

Defence Minister Marise Payne co-owns a racehorse with a lobbyist whose company represents firms seeking lucrative Australian military contracts, including the Future Frigate project worth up to $35 billion.
Senator Payne is a co-owner of Tarakona, a largely unsuccessful four-year-old gelding, with a group that includes Matt Hingerty, managing director and chief executive of lobbying firm Barton Deakin.

Barton Deakin is recorded on the federal government lobbyist register as representing defence contractors, including Lockheed Martin Overseas Group, builder of the F-35 Strike Fighter; and Fincantieri SpA, the Italian shipbuilding company.


Not reported is the fact that Lockheed Martin Corp " won a bid to design and build the combat system " for the DCNS Barracuda submarines".

That contract is far ranging ,According to a DefenseNews report published on 18 April 2017:


Lockheed Martin will report this summer results of studies for potential suppliers of sonar and other critical systems for Australia’s planned fleet of 12 new attack submarines, said Mike Oliver, program director for the future submarine combat system.


“Lockheed Martin has been conducting trade studies in a number of key areas of the submarine’s design,” he told Defense News. “We are examining all options and will deliver the results of those trade studies in June to the customer.”

Sonar is among the key systems, the company’s program team said.
“The choice of sonar systems and arrays is in the hands of Lockheed Martin,” Marie-Pierre de Bailliencourt, general manager at DCNS, told Defense News..


Canberra in September selected Lockheed as combat system integrator, partnering with DCNS, which will design, build and service a fleet of 12 ocean-going diesel-electric boats. The program is worth AUS$50 billion ($38.1 billion) over some 35 years.

A survey of sonar and other systems marks a first step in a selection process that Thales hopes to win through its Australian subsidiary.


The French electronics company expects to secure more than €1 billion of deals, with €100 million per boat based on sonar systems, electronic warfare and periscopes. A towed sonar array is part of the kit.

END

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Singapore creates an AML/CTF conundrum for bankers dealing with the Malaysian Government, its Ministry of Finance , PM Najib, and his associates.

by Ganesh Sahathevan




                                                                       Image result for najib finance minister

PM's Signature (And Only His Signature) Was On Every Decision Of 1MDB.Being Minister For Finance every banker in Malaysia or wanting to do business in Malaysia would have sought that signature on any number of approvals. This  includes ANZ,which will soon be seeking Najib's formal approval to sell  its stake in AMBank,

Image result for citiImage result for standard chartered Image result for HSBCImage result for ANZ


by Ganesh Sahathevan

In another "world first" the   Malaysian Government, its Ministry of Finance , PM Najib, are in a position where they continue to maintain that nothing at all was stolen or otherwise misappropriated 
from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund , 1MDB, and its subsidiaries, when even neighbour Singapore, which has beenfitted enormously by being banker to Malaysia,now insists,, in no uncertain terms:

"The main victim in this case is 1MDB

"This case" is of course the 1MDB theft and related matters of money laundering, detailed in excrutiating detail by Singapore's Public Prosecutor, the US Department Of Justice and Switzerland's FINMA. The US DOJ has even provided details of how money stolen from 1MDB was used to buy about ten million dollars worth of diamonds for Australian model Miranda Kerr , and a USD 25 million pink diamond for the PM's wife, Rosmah Mansor.

It is undertsandable that PM Najib, who is also the Minister For Finance , take a "nothing to see" attitude, but what of the bankers who do business in Malaysia, and quite likely the Malaysian Government? How does one deal with a client who is a government that is prepared to deny the theft of billions from its coffers, even as other governments insist that the crime has occurred? How do bank CEOs and chairmen based in the accusing countries account to their own governments and regulators. Citi,ANZ, Standard Chartered and HSBC have long history of doing business in Malaysia and its government. Standard Chartered has already paid 1MDB related fines in Singapore.
END 

Reference

PM's Signature (And Only His Signature) Was On Every Decision Of 1MDB

PM's Signature (And Only His Signature) Was On Every Decision Of 1MDB

All last year Najib and his circle were demanding that Malaysians ‘be patient’ and wait for the findings of the Auditor General’s report into 1MDB to be completed.
When finally it was completed, twelve months later, they declared it an ‘Official Secret’!
To make their meaning as clear as possible, prominent PKR MP, Rafizi Ramli, was arrested on the steps of Parliament last week for threatening to reveal further information about Tabung Haji payments to 1MDB, which they had also handily classed as an ‘Official Secret’.
Therefore, the Parliamentary Accounts Committee report has presented a highly important remaining insight into the scandal, even though MPs were denied a great deal of crucial information with respect to what they identified as a missing US$7 billion (RM28 billion) from the fund.  This is the total figure which 1MDB has invested in mysterious foreign companies, for which they have provided zero financial information either to the PAC or the Auditor General (whose report the MPs HAVE been allowed to see, but not publicise).
The missing amounts are, according to PAC member Tony Pua:
  • The sums of US$700 million and US$330 million, which were misappropriated to Good Star Limited, a company unrelated to the purported 1MDB-Petrosaudi joint venture in 2009 and 2011.
  • US$3.51 billion, which was paid to a British Virgin Islands (BVI) incorporated Aabar Investment PJS Limited “Aabar (BVI)” in the form of collaterals, options termination compensation and further unexplained “top-up security” payments despite obvious doubts over who owns Aabar (BVI).
  • US$940 million worth of “units” which was parked at the Swiss Bank branch of BSI Bank in Singapore.
  • another US$1.56 billion of investments by 1MDB’s wholly-owned foreign subsidiary, 1MDB Global Investments Limited, which also could not be verified by the Auditor-General.
The PAC report detailed how CEO Shahrol Halmi had shockingly defied his Board to go ahead with expensive borrowing and investments such as the PetroSaudi joint venture, which had been specifically vetoed by board resolutions pending further research – all confirmation of course of the concerns which Sarawak Report has extensively reported over the past year.
The PAC committee has therefore recommended that Halmi be criminally investigated.  Furthermore, it has made another crucial set of recommendations, which require the dismantling of an unusual clause governing 1MDB, namely Section 117 – also the abolition of the company’s so-called Advisory Council.

Section 117

The significance of the PAC demand for the removal of the provisions of Section 117 has so far been downplayed, particularly by Najib’s supporters, who have suggested that the report totally exonerated Najib and “proved” he had no responsibility for the disastrous decisions of 1MDB. This could not be further from the truth.
The clause, according to the evidence of the committee, was introduced into the articles governing 1MDB in September 2009, at the time when it was officially converted from its original title and purpose as the Terengganu Investment Authority and re-named 1MDB.
Section 117 transferred total power over the newly fashioned 1MDB into the hands of the Minister of Finance, who is named as the sole shareholder and signatory of the company.  Furthermore, it goes so far as to specifically forbid the normal representation of officials from the Ministry of Finance to sit on the Board of the company, even though it was supposed to be a 100% subsidiary of this department of state.
There could be only one reason for this extraordinary ban against Finance and Treasury officials from participation in the running of 1MDB, and that is that the new Minister in charge (i.e. the sole shareholder and signatory/ the PM himself) wanted to be free of any oversight or interference from departmental experts regarding his decisions over the fund.
This extraordinary provision applies to only one other company controlled by the Ministry of Finance, Sarawak Report has been informed.  And that company is none other than SRC International, which is the other scandal hit enterprise, which Najib also set up under 1MDB and then financed with RM4 billion borrowed from the KWAP pension fund – money that has also been almost totally unaccounted for.
Finance Department officials have confirmed that as a result they had no oversight whatsoever over these companies, which were supposedly public concerns controlled by their department, and which had moreover raised billions in loans that were guaranteed by the Malaysian Government, thanks to letters of commitment signed by the Minister of Finance.
It is really terribly shocking.

Dazzling with ‘big names’

In a clear attempt to side-step concerns about these unusual provisions under Section 117, the Prime Minister/ Finance Minister set up a third tier of ‘governance’ for the company, which was supposed to act as a counter-balance to this deliberate lack of oversight.
This was the so-called Advisory Board of which he was the self-appointed Chairman.
The names on this Advisory Board, consisted of a dazzling array of international bigwigs, with the seeming purpose of over-awing potential critics into silence – they were all Najib’s best political and business contacts from around the world (France’s richest businessman, Berhard Arnhalt; The remarkably wealthy Prime Minister of Qatar; the Head of Mubadala in Abu Dhabi, amongst others).
Who would dare to call into question such a star line up of heavy-weights, all putting their guidance and expertise into the management of Malaysia’s great investment enterprise?  It appears nobody in Malaysia indeed did so.  Except, the PAC report confirmed, this committee of luminaries has never once met!
Only its Chairman, Najib, was therefore in place to give orders, determine investments, sign documents and make decisions.  He had clearly set the whole structure up this way, in order to deliberately to sidestep the normal checks and controls of company management, thereby enabling himself to assume total dictatorial control over the way the billions raised by this fund were spent.
One wonders why?
The consequences of this approach can be very clearly seen, according to the investigations reported by the PAC.  Shahrol Halmi, who had been recruited from the accountancy firm Accenture to head up the fund, when it was originally pulled together by Jho Low on behalf of his friend Najib, knew exactly who was the real boss.
Indeed, when the original Board representing Terengganu (who had put up its future oil revenues as the collateral for lending) protested at reckless and expensive borrowing proposals, Shahrol Halmi just ignored their orders and went ahead without board permission to borrow RM5 billion from AmBank.
That RM5 billion will have cost Malaysia a staggering RM15 billion in total costs by the time it is finally paid back, says the PAC report.  And most of that money was channelled into the company Good Star Limited, which the PAC have now confirmed had nothing whatsoever to do with 1MDB’s joint ventures.

Orders from Najib over-ruled 1MDB Board, thanks to Sec 117

The PAC reports the excuse that Halmi gave them when questioned about this jaw dropping defiance by a Chief Executive against his own Board.  He referred to Section 117, which he explained to PAC members over-ruled the authority of the Board:
“The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found Mr Shahrol to be in violation of the shareholders [decision] not to proceed with publication IMTNs. Mr Shahrol also made a mistake by signing the agreement without any power conferred by the board of directors.
The PAC was informed by Mr Shahrol, he did not follow orders to stop the issuance of RM5 billion Islamic Medium Term Notes and bonds did not follow the instructions of the Board as the power actually lies with the shareholders in accordance with Section 117 of the Articles of TIA Berhad. [Google Translation of PAC report]
There is only one way to interpret this explanation, given that Najib Razak is the only shareholder of the company.
What Halmi was saying was that, under the provisions of this Section 117, he had obeyed the higher authority of the sole shareholder and signatory of the company, rather than the Board.
It means that although the 1MDB Board had told Halmi to halt the plans to borrow RM5 billion, given the ridiculous rates, Najib, the grand new Finance Minister/Prime Minister in charge of the fund, had counter-manded him to take no notice and go ahead anyway.
Halmi, in accordance with the rules of the company, had obeyed the boss who had also recruited him, namely Najib.
There is no other way to interpret Halmi’s reference to Section 117 as his reason for defying the Board, not just on this occasion but on numerous other occasions with respect to the PetroSaudi joint venture in 2009.  For example, he refused to halt the deal until a proper valuation of PetroSaudi was obtained, as had been requested, and he refused to send the money back when Board members discovered USE$700 million had been sent to Good Star Limited, which was unrelated to the Joint Venture.
This is all very clearly spelt out in the report by the PAC and so makes a mockery of attempts to claim that it did not hold the Finance Minister cum Prime Minister totally accountable for this fraud, which was launched just weeks after he had stepped into his new position of power in April 2009.
Interestingly, Halmi was in fact back-dating the existence of these provisions in the articles of 1MDB at the time he made these excuses to the PAC in 2015, because Section 117 was not added to the company’s articles of association until the change-over from its status as the Terengganu fund to 1MDB in September of 2009 – just days before the signing of the PetroSaudi deal, but weeks after Halmi had defied his original Board by borrowing all that money!
Never mind, it just goes to show the naked truth about the way that 1MDB was conceived and run by Najib and his side-kick Jho Low from the very start.  Halmi knew who he was supposed to take his orders from and to hell with the letter of the law – in Malaysia, where the PM had total control such matters could be fixed.
According to reports, Halmi is still telling people that Najib is ‘unshakable’, so he considers himself ‘safe’.
Kings and State to State Partnerships
The technique of ‘fixing’ things by asserting power and grandeur under-pinned the entire strategy of 1MDB.  The PAC has analysed this Jho Low-constructed bluff (already exposed by Sarawak Report).
In short, 1MDB did not just do investment deals, it engaged with powerful and impressive friendly states in ‘government to government’ diplomacy (supposedly), making any questioning or criticism of Najib’s actions appear – well churlish and unpatriotic!
Thus the PetroSaudi deal was described to the 1MDB Board as a crucial state to state venture with none other than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Manager Casey Tan even briefed the Board that the PetroSaudi had been set up in 2000 and personally belonged to King Abdullah.
This was a total lie, just as managers had previously lied that the Abu Dhabi Mubadala fund was investing in Iskandar in May 2009 (which was immediately denied) and later in 2013 lied that Abu Dhabi’s Aabar was investing in a ‘strategic partnership’ in Kuala Lumpur’s so-called Tun Razak Exchange (which remains unbuilt).
Emails obtained by Sarawak Report, sent between 1MDB’s lawyers Wong & Partners and PetroSaudi’s legal team at the time, make totally clear who the beneficial owners and decision makers were on each side of this deal, since the correct details needed to be given to the banks receiving the money:
The decision-makers at 1MDB at the time of the PetroSaudi deal
The decision-makers at 1MDB at the time of the PetroSaudi deal
The Form A sent to JP Morgan about beneficial ownership of the Joint Venture presents solid confirmation:
Do what the boss says
No sign of King Adbullah – just his seventh son, then a jobless ex-pilot
As PAC member Tony Pua, who has seen the secret Auditor General’s Report, has put it:
Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s signatures are littered all over 1MDB as he was the ultimate decision maker who signed off resolutions to sack 1MDB’s auditors, Ernst & Young and KPMG, to invest US$1.83 billion in the failed Petrosaudi joint venture, to borrow US$6.5 billion of bonds via Goldman Sachs and to overpay for the RM12.1 billion of power assets.
So, what is all this bluff and bluster about the PAC report letting the PM off the hook?Because if Najib had not signed every single transaction of 1MDB, then none of the above could have happened under the rules of the company itself.

No foreign bank statements!

There is a final damning aspect to the evidence of the PAC, which is matched, the report says, by the findings of the Auditor General.  This is the persistent refusal of 1MDB to produce any statements or evidence whatsoever to account for the expenditures of those foreign companies and accounts into which so much of 1MDB’s public money was placed (i.e. US$7 billion).
There can only be one conclusion as to why Arul Kanda spent and entire year pretending he didn’t understand the following simple question: ‘Please show us the bank statements’.
The obvious answer was that he simply does not have them.  And the reason he does not have them is that 1MDB’s money had been deliberately siphoned out through these companies to third parties entirely – they were nothing to do with 1MDB!
This was the reason why Kanda, in his early days in the job last year was forced to fax a forged copy of a bank statement for Brazen Sky account in Singapore to BSI bank, which was supposedly holding a billion dollars for 1MDB.
Kanda asked the bank if the statement was true and (according to a letter from Singapore investigators obtained and published by Sarawak Report) the bank was forced to reply that the information was wrong.  Kanda did not have the correct bank statements!
Likewise, Good Star Limited, which received US$700 million of 1MDB’s original billion ‘investment’, belongs to Jho Low, according to extensive research by Sarawak Report, which Jho Low has never contested.
For the first time we reveal the bank transfer note
For the first time we reveal the bank transfer note

1MDB has no idea what happened to money sent abroad

For this reason the PAC report specifically condemns 1MDB and Shahrol Halmi, who persisted in claiming that Good Star Limited belonged to PetroSaudi, but were never able to produce any documentary evidence that it did.
Neither could 1MDB produce any evidence that the company Aabar Investments PJS Limited (BVI) was linked to the Aabar sovereign wealth fund in later ‘joint ventures’, where than US$3.51 billion was paid in return for a for a loan guarantee of just US$3.5 billion!
What kind of a finance manager was Najib to sign off on a deal like that?  What could have possessed him?  Could he have ever been allowed to do such a thing if any of his tiresome apparatchiks from the Finance Ministry been looking over his shoulder?
Of course, last week The Wall Street Journal published the telling information that no less than US$150 million went from this Aabar Investments PJS (BVI) went straight to the movie production company belonging to Najib’s step-son Riza Aziz in Hollywood.
Now this is one thing (at last) that does start to make perfect sense!
Add to that the remarks of the Swiss head of the Financial Investigation Agency FINMA at the end of last week.  He said:
“we are talking here not about small fry, but what looks like blatant and massive corruption….suspicious cash flows linked to the Malaysian sovereign fund 1MDB. FINMA has carried out investigations into more than 20 banks in connection with these cases, and has opened seven enforcement proceedings … we are not dealing here with shades of grey. The evidence points to clear cases of corruption.” [Mark Branson]
At which point, who in Malaysia can give a shred of credence to the claims by such fellows as Tengku Adnan, Umno secretary-general, that the PAC Report has “proved” that the Prime Minister had nothing to do with the decisions at 1MDB or that he has been some way “slandered”?
And who can believe pathetic ‘Sirul’ Halmi’s sad insistence that nothing wrong or illegal ever happened at 1MDB?
As even Najib’s inner circle are now being quoted saying “someone is going to have to go inside for this”.  No one is taking bets on that someone not being being ‘Sirul’ Halmi!