Archive for January 18th, 2017

Jet, mansions figure in $232 million foreign trust case to be heard in Auckland court

Matt Nippert, business investigations journalist.
New Zealand Herald
Jan 18, 2017

An Auckland courtroom will on Friday become a battleground over Manhattan penthouses and a private jet amid allegations that they are the proceeds of a globe-spanning mega-fraud.

The High Court at Auckland is set down to hear a request from relatives of controversial Malaysian financier Jho Low who oppose the seizure of assets worth $230 million alleged by the United States Department of Justice to be the proceeds of crime.

US court filings said the relatives are beneficiaries of a number of New Zealand trusts that are claimed to directly own a number assets caught up the probe of a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund known as 1MDB.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in July when the DoJ first filed its seizure claims that $5 billion had been misappropriated from the Malaysian state with payments by 1MDB diverted into private Swiss bank accounts and then laundered into artwork, Hollywood films and real estate.

“We are seeking to forfeit and recover funds that were intended to grow the Malaysian economy and support the Malaysian people. Instead, they were stolen, laundered through American financial institutions and used to enrich a few officials and their associates,” she said.

Financier Low is one of three individuals named in the DoJ action as receiving the proceeds of the alleged fraud. The others are a Hollywood producer and step-son of Malaysia’s current Prime Minister, and a former government official from the United Arab Emirates. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mustapha not speaking the truth or in his true self when he said Malaysia must “move on” from 1MDB scandal when the law in Malaysia is neither taking its course nor the authorities in Malaysia allowed to go after those responsible for creating the international money-laundering scandal

The Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Mustapha Mohamad had discovered that wherever he went, even at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he would be pursued, hounded and haunted by the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal which would not leave him in peace.

Mustapha is as wrong as the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak who declared in his 2016 New Year Message on Dec. 31, 2015 that his RM55 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion donation twin mega scandals had been resolved and were no more issues when the International Trade and Industry Minister said Malaysia must “move on” from the 1MDB scandal.

AFP quoted Mustapha saying “We’ve learned many lessons and we are moving forward” from the scandal, and said:

“Essentially we have to move on and we have confidence that a number of issues that came to limelight as a result of 1MDB will at some point, be behind us.

“We have the authorities to go after those responsible for creating the mess. The law is taking its course.”

Mustapha is not speaking his true self as he should know more than anybody else that it is not true that the Najib government had “learnt many lessons” from the 1MDB scandal and that “the law is taking its course” and that the “authorities” are going after “those responsible for creating the mess”.

Mustapha’s statement in Davos needs an important qualification as the law in Malaysia is not taking its course, and the authorities in Malaysia are not going after “those creating the mess”. Read the rest of this entry »