As Najib Denies All Over 1MDB, Let's Not Forget His Many Other Criminal Connections - COMMENT
Najib has claimed on TV that the US indictment did not involve him nor 1MDB:
“I want to say that what was done by the DOJ recently does not involve me, or the Malaysian government, or 1MDB directly….This is not a criminal suit, but a civil suit… but it has been politicised by certain enemies”. [Najib on Indonesian Metro TV]
Contrast the above with the actual indictment by the DOJ, which in fact refers to criminal actions throughout, although it has instituted civil action to forfeit proceeds of crime in the United States. For example:
“.. multiple individuals, including public officials and their associates, conspired to fraudulently divert billions of dollars from 1MDB through various means, including by defrauding foreign banks and by sending foreign wire communications in furtherance of the scheme, and thereafter, to launder the proceeds of that criminal conduct, including in and through U.S. financial institutions”.[‘Nature of the Action’ Point 6, DOJ Indictment]
It doesn’t get plainer that that. From the above you can see that the DOJ indictment implicates public officials in Malaysia (specified as being led by Najib) in criminally and fraudulently stealing billions from 1MDB and then criminally laundering the money.
The suit does involve Najib. It does involve 1MDB. It does allege criminal behaviour and major fraud:
“The criminal conduct alleged herein occurred in three principal phases: The “Good Star” Phase… The “Aabar-BVI” Phase …. The “Tanore” Phase… The proceeds of each of these three phases of criminal conduct were laundered through a complex series of transactions, including through bank accounts in Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the United States.” [DOJ indictment]
As for that “Tanore Phase”, the DOJ gets very personal indeed with regard to the Prime Minister (termed ‘Malaysian Official 1′) who we all know admitted over a year ago to receiving US$681 million into his private AmBank account from Tanore Finance Corporation, claiming it had been a ‘donation’ from an anonymous ‘Saudi Royal’ towards his 2013 election campaign.
This is what the DOJ has to say about that money and there is zero reference to any Saudi Royal:
$681 MILLION WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE TANORE ACCOUNT TO AN ACCOUNT BELONGING TO MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1
Shortly after proceeds of the 2013 bond sale were diverted to the Tanore Account, $681,000,000 was sent from the Tanore Account to a bank account belonging to MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1.
On or about March 21, 2013, Tanore transferred $620,000,000 into an account at AmBank in Malaysia, whose beneficiary was listed as “AMPRIVATE BANKING-MR.” On or about March 25, 2013, an additional $61,000,000 was wired from the Tanore Account to the same account at AmBank, for a total of $681,000,000.
This account belonged to MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 and is the same account that in 2011 received $20 million from the PETROSAUDI CO-FOUNDER that was traceable to the Good Star Account, as set forth in Section II.G. It is also the same account that in 2012 received at least $30 million from the Blackstone Account that was traceable to the Aabar-BVI Swiss Account and the 2012 bond proceeds, as set forth in Section III.E.3. [Section 259-61 of DOJ indictment]
So, when Najib appears on TV and says he has not been implicated in the DOJ report and that nothing criminal has been alleged, who can believe him?
Najib’s ‘Pirate Government’
Unfortunately, this pampered son of a former Prime Minister has got away with far too much for far too long and he seems to think he can treat this as merely another skirmish, whether anyone believes him or not.
He has boasted of his ‘proud pirate (Bugis) ancestry’ and those around Malaysia’s ‘First Couple’ privately confide they have nicknamed them Bonnie & Clyde. Najib should probably be dubbed ‘The Cover-up Kid’ given his list of scandals, all “fixed” by tame officials and judges – more of which shortly .
Yet, all gangster stories end in flames and with the DOJ findings it is plain to most players now that this particular pair have reached their last shoot out. Pumped up with adrenalin (and hormones too) the question is whether they themselves have yet absorbed the realities of their situation?
The couple have told their teamsters that they can still brazen this out and come out stronger, emergency legislation now to hand. Rosmah is on the phone all day long, report insiders, calling all their ministers to step out and speak up in support. The few who have done so either have no political future or plainly don’t care if they once did.
“Mrs 10%” – What western bankers dubbed Rosmah!
1MDB is just the latest episode in a political career that should rightly have ended long before Najib Razak got anywhere near the top job. He was already tarnished for all to see.
For years Najib was a notorious Minister of Defence, for which western governments and arms sales must take their share of blame. It was, as always, the Malaysian people who paid the price for pumped-up prices – Rosmah was never far away and never accepted a commission of less than 10%, insiders say.
For example, one senior French banker from a major Asian division reminisces how in 2009 in the Presidential Suite at the 5 Star Plaza Athene Hotel in Paris he witnessed procedures at the close of one such major deal. “Najib moved rooms so that the ‘commission’ could be dealt with and he observed a large suitcase stuffed with millions of dollars being offered to Malaysia’s Defence Minister“, says a source. “In turn, Najib waived to staff to take it to another nearby room …… where Rosmah was waiting. Within minutes, she was out of the place, police escort in tow, sirens wailing, to the diamond shops of the Faubourg St Honore“.
No wonder Najib acts bewildered to find how times have changed. “These things are done more quietly” he complained of the US action last week.
Even the French have named him in separate legal action as the suspected recipient of kickbacks over the Scorpene submarine scandal. Najib has told Malaysians, of course, that he has not been named, but look at how it was reported in the French press:
“The ex-president of a subsidiary of Thales, is suspected of having corrupted the present Prime Minister of Malaysia. Bernard Bioco, 72, ex-president of Thales Int Asia was put under criminal investigation on 15th sept 2014 concerning bribery of foreign public officials namely Najib Razak, the then Minister of Defence and one of his advisers Abdul Razak Baginda” [Le Point and other newspapers]
Attached to this murky submarine story is the well-known shocking murder of the translator on the deal, Altantuya Shaariibuu (who had threatened to reveal information on those very kickbacks).
Najib was comprehensively demonstrated over the subsequent court proceeding as having been up to his eyes in a legal cover-up, revelations that ought to have ended the career of any politician.
Instead the blame has been put on the shoulders of two of his own bodyguards, who were instructed to kill Altantuya by someone still anonymous and who languish in jail facing sentence of death.