Archive for April 13th, 2016

Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Says It May Be Victim of $3.5 Billion Fraud

Shamim Adam
April 13, 2016

1Malaysia Development Bhd., the troubled Malaysian state fund that’s the subject of global investigations, said it could be a victim of fraud if payments of $3.5 billion intended for an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund never made it there.

Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co. this week denied ownership of a company that received the funds known as Aabar Investments PJS Limited or Aabar BVI. Swiss authorities said on Tuesday they are investigating two former public officials from the United Arab Emirates, who handled Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds that guaranteed 1MDB bonds.

“Given the recent denial by IPIC and the announcement by the Office of the Attorney-General of Switzerland, indicating that 1MDB could be a victim of fraud, 1MDB is exploring all avenues open to us,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Authorities from the U.S. to Switzerland and Singapore are trying to determine if some of the billions of dollars that 1MDB raised were siphoned out inappropriately. 1MDB, whose advisory board is headed by Prime Minister Najib Razak, amassed more than 50 billion ringgit ($12.9 billion) of debt over six years, using some of it to buy energy assets, including joint ventures with companies in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Read the rest of this entry »


Swiss widen corruption investigation into Malaysia’s 1MDB fund

Agence France-Presse
Wednesday 13 April 2016

The state-owned fund is linked to PM Najib Razak, with two suspects indicted over an alleged phony bond deal

Switzerland has widened its corruption probe into a Malaysian state-owned fund linked to prime minister Najib Razak, with two new suspects indicted over an alleged phony bond deal.

The Swiss attorney general’s office (OAG) said the new suspects – who are accused of fraud, bribery and other offences – are officials from the United Arab Emirates who were in charge of sovereign funds based in Abu Dhabi.

In a statement, the OAG said it had evidence that the management of the 1MDB fund violated Swiss embezzlement laws through a fraudulent bond agreement with the UAE officials, with money routed through Swiss banks.

Allegations that billions were looted from 1MDB in a vast campaign of fraud have shaken Najib’s government.

The scandal intensified last week when a Malaysian parliamentary committee clearly suggested misconduct had occurred, in the first condemnation from an official body in Kuala Lumpur. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Malaysia fund 1MDB’s payment to Abu Dhabi fund IPIC may have ended up in the movie business

Leslie Shaffer
13th April 2016

The trail of breadcrumbs from a troubled Malaysian state investment fund took another twist Tuesday when Swiss authorities said some of the money ended up in the movie business.

On Monday, an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC), and its subsidiary Aabar Investments PJS, said that they never received $3.5 billion in payments from troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The payments were related to a guarantee for a bond placed by Goldman Sachs.

Instead, the payments appear to have been sent to a nearly identically named firm registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Aabar Investments PJS Ltd.

Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General said on Tuesday that as part of its criminal investigation of suspected embezzlement from 1MDB, it was extending its probe to two former officials in charge of Abu Dhabi sovereign funds. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Opposition MPs signing of an unsatisfactory PAC Report on 1MDB fully vindicated by the swift solution about the “rogue” character of the fake company Aabar Investments PJS Limited (Aabar BVI) in the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal

One shock tactics UMNO/BN Ministers, leaders and cybertroopers like the Barisan Nasional Strategic Media Communications Director and Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan had been hashing in the past few days was in the form of the question on the social media: “U guys bodoh!! Why sign the report when u r only 80% satisfied. BODOH!”

However, the Opposition MPs’ signing of the Parliament Accounts Committee (PAC) Report, although not thoroughly satisfied about its findings and conclusions, have been fully vindicated by the swift solution about the “rogue” character of fake company Aabar Investments PJS Limited (Aabar BVI) in the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal.

The statement by the Abu Dhabi’s state-owned International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) to the London Stock Exchange on Monday that neither itself nor its unit Aabar Investments PJS have any links to British Virgin Islands-incorporated firm Aabar Investments PJS Limited which was paid RM4.24 billion (about US$1.367 billion) by 1MDB as security deposit in 2012 would not have come about if the PAC Report on 1MDB had not been signed and tabled in Parliament last Thursday.

With the PAC Report, IPIC and Aabar, as public listed companies in the London Stock Exchange had to make a mandatory public announcement that they had no relations to Aabar BVI, and had not received the RM4.24 billion payment from 1MDB in 2012 – an issue which had been in the public domain in the past four months but not from authoritative or official sources like the Malaysian PAC Report and could therefore be ignored by IPIC, Aabar and 1MDB.

The signing of the PAC Report on the 1MDB, though not fully satisfactory, has achieved the first fruits and I want congratulate the five Opposition PAC members for achieving this result within four days of the tabling of the PAC Report. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Fixing the Finances of Malaysia’s State Fund: The Process So Far

Shamim Adam
April 13, 2016

It’s been more than a year since state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., at the center of multiple probes into its finances, announced plans to sell assets and pare debt. Its borrowings then ballooned to over 50 billion ringgit ($12.9 billion) as of January.

1MDB has said it won’t make new investments or undertake projects once it clears some existing deals. Set up by the government in 2009 to build infrastructure with borrowed money, it has drawn political criticism and almost failed to repay loans.

Global investigators are looking into possible money laundering and embezzlement at the company, whose advisory board is chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak. Here’s a snapshot of where 1MDB is at in getting its finances in order: Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments