Malaysia Should Sue Goldman Sachs And All Complicit Banks!
The news today that Goldman Sachs has now formally acknowledged that its South East Asia Chairman, Tim Leissner, has indeed ‘left the bank’, sometime earlier this month, indicates they plan to make him their high level fall guy over the 1MDB imbroglio.
It’s not good enough.
Malaysia should make sure that this controversial and domineering international bank does not get away with making this single employee their scapegoat or cutting a behind-closed-doors deal with regulators over its role in a theft that goes to the heart of existing problems in our global financial systems, thanks to the illegal behaviour of banks.
If the various banks had abided by the law then 1MDB’s public money could not have gone missing — therefore the Malaysian public have a right to demand their money back and for punishments to be meted out.
After all, bank robbers go to jail, so why do robber bankers never feel the cuffs?
Any half-decent Finance Minister would have already set the ball rolling in this respect, but of course, this is one of those cases where banks thought they were protected by the political authority of their client, who was the Finance Minister.
In fact, money laundering regulations state the opposite position, which is that banks are required to exhibit extra-due diligence when dealing with politically exposed individuals, for the very reason they may potentially abuse their powers.
Exposes by Sarawak Report and others have shown that Goldman Sachs, RBS Coutts, BSI Bank, Edmund de Rothschild Bank Privee, JP Morgan Suisse, Falcon Bank and of course the ANZ majority owned AmBank all have serious questions to answer with respect to the loss of funds from 1MDB.
It’s taken years to flush out the truth, whilst all these institutions looked the other way and kept the cash — now they should pay the penalty.
Goldman Sachs knew
It is simply is not acceptable for Goldman Sachs to attempt to let
the buck stop with their now former employee, the bogus Dr Tim
Leissner. When Sarawak Report first protested, way back in 2013,
that all was not well with the way Goldman had appeared to
handle the 1MDB
power purchase and Aabar bond issues, there was deafening
In fact, there was some fall-out. A few months later one of the
financial commentators, who had also been raising veiled
questions about GSI’s lucrative bond deals noted the odd
departure of Roger Ng from the bank, amidst the growing
political row in Malaysia about 1MDB.
Ng was Tim’s close subordinate. He had previously worked
for Deutsche Bank, whose close associations with corrupted
Sarawak leader Taib Mahmud had also been questioned by
NGOs and this blog, but were until recently aggressively
ignored by the German financial giant.
Ng through Deutsche Bank had raised bond deals for Sarawak
via Labuan at enormous rates of interest. Deutsche Bank also
held Taib family off-shore accounts and ran a 50% partnership
with Taib’s family company, CMS, in the major investment
outfit Kenanga (Deutsche Bank is now belatedly attempting
to sell its holding).
When Leissner hired Ng into Goldman he therefore bought
his way into Ng’s Sarawak contacts and then up into deals with
Jho Low and Najib. Together they set up the Terengganu
Sovereign Wealth Fund, which morphed into 1MDB and the
rest is a history of exceedingly lucrative deals for Goldman.
It seems that a
decision was made
to let Ng take the rap
when the noise grew
louder in 2014. But, what did Goldman Sachs decide to do about
Well, despite the by then prominent coverage of the concerns
over 1MDB and its huge sums of missing money, the hierarchy
of that bank went ahead and promoted him to Chairman of
South East Asia around the very same time in mid-2014.
How could Goldman Sachs have possibly promoted this man
without checking out the controversy around the deals that
had made Leissner one of the highest earners for the bank in
the period 2010–2013?
It seems they even over-looked his false academic credentials
in their eagerness to keep the hundreds of millions he had
earned for the bank. It is clear that Leissner’s superiors at
Goldman Sachs have had every opportunity for years to
investigate and act upon these deals and instead they sat
silent and promoted the man behind them.
One of these superiors, Andrea Vella knows all about being
pursued over controversial government deals. He is currently
embroiled in a case against the Libyan Investment Authority.
Now that GSI are plainly in discussions with investigators they
will be in a position to inform exactly how the massive US$3
billion that was raised for 1MDB in just one hurried week by
the bank just days before Najib Razak announced the 2013
election was disbursed.
Did it go into legitimate 1MDB accounts or was much of the
money siphoned off into thinly disguised bogus accounts, as
earlier was the case with Good Star and the money supposedly
invested in PetroSaudi?
Malaysians will be particularly interested to know if any of the
GSI bond issue money was tranfered to Aabar owned Falcon
Bank for example or to any Aabar or Jho Low related
Today the MACC Operations Reveiw Panel backed the
anti-corruption commission’s request to be allowed to
continue its investigations into just these issues and to
pressure the Malaysian Attorney General into doing his
lawful job, which is to grant them their necessary authorities
to request international assistance in their enquiry into
That international assistance would provide just the information
that the authorities which might end up suing miscreant banks
are looking for. Najib is blocking it.
For years Goldman Sachs knew there were issues about their
employee and the 1MDB deals. But, instead of doing the right
thing about potential wrong doings they promoted their
‘rainmaker’ and looked the other way.
Other banks who should be equally on notice are ANZ bank,
who have supplied all the major executives for their majority
shareholding in AmBank and failed to report or doing
anything about the humungous sums pouring into the
Prime Minister’s secret accounts.
This bank is still refusing to comment on the matter or take
any apparent action and they are refusing to inform
shareholders why they received a recent major fine from
the Bank of Malaysia for evident transgressions. Don’t
shareholders have a right to know when their bank has
been caught and fined for failures of this nature?
A swathe of banks world-wide have stood by for years
and gone for cover-up rather than owning-up. Malaysia
should teach them a lesson and find themselves a new
Finance Minister who sues the shirts off their backs and
teaches them a lesson they need to learn.