Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Sarawak Report : A letter without a contact address and no accompanying identification documents represents a laughable verification check and one can only assume it was let through by the bank because the recipient was the Malaysian Prime Minister, who nevertheless comes under a high category of concern as a politically exposed person.
6 Oct 2015
Sarawak Report can exclusively reveal the alleged identity of ‘His Highness’ the ‘royal donor’, which was given to AmBank as the source of several payments, including the US$681 million received into Najib’s account just before the last election.
The name given was ‘His Highness Saud Abdulaziz Majid al-Saud’.
We have ascertained that this identity was first provided to explain an original payment of US$100 million, which was passed into Najib’s AmPrivate Banking account in Kuala Lumpur back in February 2011.
The bank had required details of the sender from the agent who was managing the transfer on behalf of the Prime Minister and a letter was purportedly then sent from the office of this individual to the bank.
Our sources tell us that this letter, which has been retained by the bank, was sparse on details but alleged to be from the ‘Private Office of Saud Abdulaziz Majid al-Saud’, without giving an address or telephone number.
The letter was signed by ‘Saud Abdulaziz al-Saud’.
Compliance issues at AmBank?
The matter raises immediate questions about the regulatory and compliance procedures of AmBank, which is 23% owned by ANZ Bank (Australia New Zealand Bank) as the largest shareholder.
The CEO of AmBank, Ashok Ramamurthy, who was on attachment from ANZ Bank, stepped down in January following a compliance audit of several billion ringgit of loans to 1MDB – the issue remains subject to major criticism by opposition politicians.
The fact that the Prime Minister was able to receive huge private donations with such a cursory scrutiny of the donor certainly presents a major problem for the bank.
In particular, Sarawak Report has established that anti-money laundering and anti-terror legislation in Saudi Arabia (given the Saud name) means that all its citizens are required to provide passport verification for any individual involved in the transfer of substantial sums. This includes any citizen who is using a BVI off-shore company.
A letter without a contact address and no accompanying identification documents represents a laughable verification check and one can only assume it was let through by the bank because the recipient was the Malaysian Prime Minister, who nevertheless comes under a high category of concern as a politically exposed person.
For several years, AmBank has flourished as the bank of choice for the Prime Minister’s own accounts and also for several state-controlled concerns, including 1MDB.
We have learnt that at least four payments were received into the Prime Minister’s account accompanied by the same sender identification between 2011 and 2013, including the two totalling US$681 million, revealed by Sarawak Report in July.
The second transfer was for a sum of US$200 million, meaning that a total of a billion dollars was transferred by this alleged Saudi royal philanthropist supposedly in favour of UMNO into Najib’s account.
This information was corroborated by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) in July, when officials stated they had seen four letters from the same donor to the bank.
It indicates that this alleged donor had been passing huge sums of money to Najib far in advance of the General Election, the original reason given, for wider purposes that remain unclear.
The matter envelopes a growing circle of international regulatory authorities in Malaysia’s escalating financial scandal, since both Australia and New Zealand as well as Saudi Arabia are now faced with a flouting of their basic banking rules and anti-terrorism laws.
Meanwhile, our enquiries into the identity of this ‘Saudi Royal’ figure have drawn an interesting blank. Saud Abdulaziz Majid al-Saud appears to be a variation on a common royal name, but does not actually refer to any specific individual.
Yet the newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi claimed to have met a Middle Eastern “King and Prince” from the alleged “donor family”, shortly after taking over from Muhyiddin Yassin, who had questioned the donation before being sacked by Najib:
He [Zahid] said the “king and prince”, whom he did not name, had donated the money because of Malaysia’s commitment in fighting terrorism, and being a moderate Muslim country with a plural society….
“Those were the answers given to me when I asked them the reason for their donation. They also told me that Malaysia was not the only country they have donated money to.
“They have also helped other Islamic countries,” he said .. The Umno vice-president, elaborating.. said the donors were an “Arab king and prince” and the family decided to make the huge donation also because of Datuk Seri Najib’s anti-Jewish stance..
“Because of that, the Arab king, Arab prince generously made the political donation for use during the 13th General Election,” Malaysian Mail Online quoted him as saying.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid also said the donor wanted to keep Umno and the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition in power. [Straits Times]
Likewise, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission reported officials had been introduced to individuals purporting to be the donor who had sent the letters they had seen at AmBank:
In a statement, the commission said it had found out about the donors’ details through bank documents.
“MACC has obtained explanation from the donors who originated from the Middle East and they have verified the donation.
“The RM2.6 billion donation has no connection at all to 1MDB,” the anti-graft commission said in the statement.
According to MACC, it had found four letters that were given to the bank when the RM2.6 billion amount was deposited into Najib’s account, with the bank documents stating that the contribution was a “donation”. [Malaysian Mail Online]
The MACC statement clearly conflicts with the bank documents obtained by Sarawak Report, which refer to the transfer of US$681 million from Tanore Finance Corporation as a “payment” rather than a donation.
So their eventual findings should present the exact identity of the so-called King and Prince, who they have so far accepted as genuine donors.
The wealth factor
This story of the Saudi donor becomes even harder to believe after a basic wealth check of Middle Eastern royals and the Saudis in particular.
There are few ruling Kings and Princes in the Middle East – and the Saudi King Abdullah, who was alive at the time of the ‘donations’ had died in January before the time the so-called meetings took place in July with the likes of Zahid Hamidi.
Saturday, August 01, 2015
MR PM, ART THOU KIDDING US?
against 1MDB has
the good it's done
REPORT ON PAGE 2
'1MDB did more good to people'
rumours for bad
image, cites fund's benefits
(Desi wll cut to the chase as he's NOT Able to copy from NST ONLINE: )
HE cited the 1MDB special HAJ and
school kids programmes, repairing
of old homes and channelling of aid
through its corporate social responsibility
efforts as the good deeds.
Citing another example, Najib
said Tabung Haji's purchase of the
Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) land
belonging to 1MDB recently had
caused controversy after claims
emerged that depositors' money
were used to bail out 1MDB.
DESIDERATA: HEY, MR PM, the two examples you cited would amount to expenses allocated by ANY LISTED COMPANY IS an annual budget for CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAMMES, no?!
(DESI IS SHAKING HIS HEAD IN DISBELIEF): -- NO WONDER IT HAS OFT BEEN REPORTED THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS MADE MALAYSIA A LAUGHING STOCK WORLDWIDE!
DESIDERATA2: recall that ex-PM had asked of current PM:
Mahathir (To the effect...): ****Was RM2.6 billion deposited into your two AMBANK PERSONAL ACCOUNTS?
NAJIB's RESPONSE (To the effect...): I never used any of the money for my own benefit /gain.
UPDATED 6.11PM<,2 August 2015 because new ideas came up after my KAPItalist lunch (treated by not-so-socialist-as DESi) fRiends.
DESI adds that even a standard 5 or 6 student would know the ****Question stated above is asking for a simple "YES" or "NO" Answer!
SO art thou, my friend/s, now surprised WHY I SAY "MALAYSIA is moving towards the ABYSS"?
MAy I also share that oft quoted saying:
"YOU can fool all the people some of the time;
YOU can fool some of the people all the time;
BUT YOU CAN'T fool all the people all the time."
NOTE: IN THE last General Elections (GE13) , some 48percent, almost half, of the MALaysian voters were fooled into voting BN led by UMNO. I Hope by the time GE!4 cometh around, These fellows won't be FOOLED AGAIN JUST Because generous NAJIB would raise BR1M from RM900 to RM1,500.
Sarawak ReportSep 224 min read
Confirmed — US Authorities Have Investigated 1MDB Since March
Following media reports in the United States, Sarawak Report can confirm that this news site handed over extensive data about 1MDB to a joint US investigation team back in March.
It means that the development fund and its prime fixer Jho Low, who holds American citizenship, have been under the scrutiny of US law enforcers for several months, during which time Low has posed as one of the country’s most generous philanthropists sitting on numerous boards, including that of the UN Foundation and National Geographic.
The law enforcement team, which travelled to London to collect the material, included staff from the Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Department and members of the FBI.
Sarawak Report has also provided similar data to the UK authorities and the Swiss authorities in recent days and weeks.
However, we can confirm we have received no such requests from the Malaysian authorities, who have chosen instead to incorrectly accuse Sarawak Report of failing to report the matter to the forces of law and order.
Much of the documentation received by the US and other jurisdictions relates to the 1MDB PetroSaudi joint venture set up in 2009 and it was originally provided by the Swiss national Xavier Justo, who is currently jailed in Thailand owing to denunciations against him by former PetroSaudi colleagues involved in the deal.
These individuals, currently themselves walking free, include the London based PetroSaudi directors Patrick Mahony and Timothy Buckland.
Neither of these men nor Jho Low have attempted to take legal action against Sarawak Report, despite their accusations of fraudulent reporting.
Together with Malaysian officials and UMNO media outlets, PetroSaudi have instead concentrated in recent weeks on their attempts to discredit Justo and their allegations that Sarawak Report ‘tampered’ with the evidence and supposedly ‘doctored’ documents.
Despite the complete lack of evidence behind such allegations, the Malaysian Government has responded by banning Sarawak Report, issuing an arrest warrant and attempting to place its editor on the Interpol Red Notice list.
However, these aggressive tactics have started to unravel just as the Prime Minister has set off on his first international tour since the 1MDB crisis struck his administration.
Yesterday, The Edge newspaper, which also received copies of Justo’s material and reached the same conclusions as Sarawak Report about the missing billions of ringgit siphoned out by Jho Low, was yesterday vindicated by the Malaysian High Court, which ordered the Home Ministry ban on the newspaper should be lifted.
And Najib Razak now finds himself flying into New York amidst widespread reports that he is being investigated over PetroSaudi and also the US$681 million, which Sarawak Report revealed had been paid into his personal account just before the last election.
Najib’s 1MDB dealings with Goldman Sachs are also a major target for US investigators, after the US bank set eyebrows rising over the unusually high rates for money it raised for their Malaysian client.
And in yet a further development, the New York Times has revealed that its journalists have tracked down one of the key witnesses hunted by Malaysia’s Bank Negara to assist in their own investigation into 1MDB’s missing billions.
Jasmine Ai Swan Loo was originally identified by Sarawak Report as a key player in so-called Project Uganda, the operation orchestrated by Jho Low to channel money out of 1MDB and through PetroSaudi in order to buy up Taib Mahmud’s family concern UBG group.
Bank Negara subsequently placed wanted notices to interview her and her colleague at 1MDB Casey Tan, as well as Jho Low’s key lynch pin at UBG, 1MDB and SRC International, Nik Ariff Faisal Aziz — however, all had gone missing from Malaysia.
The New York Times have now tracked down Jasmine to a swanky apartment right under their noses in East 22nd Street, purchased in 2014 for an impressive $4.5 million.
Working at 1MDB has clearly provided rewards for the inner circle of now wanted officials, despite the huge losses of public money sustained by the fund.
Perhaps Najib Razak could assist the remaining 1MDB enquiry by asking the New York cops to pick Jasmine up, so he can bring her back with him to face questioning in Malaysia?
[Sarawak Report remains Malaysia’s only banned website, accused on similar grounds to The Edge of “disseminating false information”. As the judge pointed out in the case of The Edge, no examples have been provided by the Home Minister as to which ‘inaccuracies’ they are referring to as the basis for their ban and we conclude that it is likewise an illegal restriction that has been imposed on our site. Pending any appeal the restriction should therefore be lifted immediately in line with the judgement in Malaysia’s own High Court ruling].