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FBI Tells US Court That Saudi Donations Did Not Exist & Confirms Najib Stole RM3.2 Billion, Riza RM1 Billion & Jho Low RM6 Billion

Najib Razak has been telling everyone, especially his gullible supporters, that he didn’t steal a single penny from 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd), a sovereign wealth fund which had accumulated a staggering debt of RM50.75 billion. He especially loves the part where he says the US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) found in his personal bank accounts was donations from Saudi royal family.

A serial liar, the former Malaysian prime minister was so convinced with his own lies that he managed to convince 4-million dumb supporters, mainly his party members, to vote for him in the May 2018 General Election. However, it was not enough to keep him in power. The Barisan Nasional government he led finally collapsed for the first time in history under the weight of the scandal.

It was only after he lost power, arrested and charged, that the juicy stories and secrets behind the embezzlement of billions of dollars were being exposed. Mr Najib, who was also the finance minister and chairman of 1MDB, had insisted with his absurd donation story – until he was grilled by Al-Jazeera journalist Mary Ann Jolley in October 2018, a few months after he was arrested.

Finally, for the first time, Najib wasn’t so sure anymore of his own lies. As the most powerful man in Malaysia, he had never been grilled by a foreign journalist before. Caught with his pants down, he then changed his story, saying he actually “assumed” the funds came from the Saudi government. He claimed the dead King Abdullah had promised to give him money.

In September 2018, Najib released documents which he claimed were proof that the Saudi Arabian royalty had indeed donated to him. He proudly uploaded to his Facebook page the document of a donation totalling US$100 million. To make his tale more believable, Najib also released a letter supposedly written by Saudi Prince Abdul Aziz Al-Saud dated February 1, 2011.

There was another letter dated March 1, 2013, issued to Najib – gifting him with another US$800 million. Both letters, hilariously, carried different signatures, despite claims there came from the same Saudi prince. The biggest joke – the contents of the letters were similar to a letter written by Eric Tan Kim Loong to Jho Low, partner-in-crime of Najib Razak.

The dubious letters, amusingly, said – “In view of the friendship that we have developed over the years and your new ideas as a modern Islamic leader, I hereby grant you a sum of United States Dollars One Hundred Million (USD100,000,000) Only (‘Gift’) which shall be remitted to you at such times and in such manner as I deem fit.”

The contents of the letter appeared to be an “afterthought”, most likely composed by Jho Low (full name: Low Taek Jho) himself to exonerate Najib. The letter was practically begging readers to believe that the money was donations. It screams “SCAM” because the letters were addressed to Najib’s residence in Jalan Langgak Duta, rather than the Prime Minister Office.

Still, while Najib managed to produce two fake letters, he has so far failed to produce all the documents to verify the US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) donations. He only disclosed a fraction of the donations. Even then, the dubious documents of the US$100 million could not prove that the money actually came from the Saudi government or the Al-Saud royal family.

The biggest give away was when Najib’s hotshot lawyer – Shafee Abdullah – didn’t think it was important to produce Saudi Prince Abdul Aziz Al-Saud as a material witness to help his client. Even if the prince could not appear as a witness, it was incredibly simple to prove that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had donated to Najib Razak.

What the defence team needed to do was as simple as getting a letter from the Government of Saudi Arabia, have it authenticated by the Saudi Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and produce it in the court. Why hadn’t Najib’s powerful defence team thought of that? That’s because the Saudi royal family had never paid a penny to Najib Razak.

On Monday (March 14), at the trial of ex-Goldman banker Roger Ng Chong Hwa in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Eric Van Dorn has confirmed once again that the Saudi donations did not exist at all. The FBI agent testified that not only Jho Low had stolen US$1.42 billion (RM6 billion), Najib Razak similarly stole US$756 million (RM3.2 billion).

Najib’s stepson, Riza Aziz, on the other hand, pocketed US$238 million (RM1 billion). The U.S. FBI also revealed that Khadem al-Qubaisi, a former managing director of Abu Dhabi’s state-owned International Petroleum Investment Co., which guaranteed the 1MDB transactions, received US$472.8 million (RM2 billion). Another Abu Dhabi official received US$76.6 million (RM320 million).

A forensic accountant for the FBI, Eric Van Dorn said he reviewed a staggering 59,000 bank records to establish the money trail, determining where the money raised from 1MDB bonds went. It means close to 40% of US$6.5 billion raised from three bonds that Goldman Sachs arranged for the Malaysian wealth fund had been stolen by Najib, his stepson and Jho Low alone.

Van Dorn’s testimony was the first time the U.S. authorities have detailed how those involved in the 1MDB deals were paid and how much they received. The FBI agent also revealed how Riza Aziz invested at least US$60 million of the 1MDB money he stole to produce “The Wolf of Wall Street”. However, Najib’s stepson had reached two settlements with the U.S. Justice Department.

In September 2017, Red Granite Pictures, the production company behind the “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Dumb and Dumber To”, agreed to pay the U.S. government US$60 million to settle a civil forfeiture claim that the films were funded by money siphoned from 1MDB. Red Granite was co-founded in 2010 by Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland.

In 2020, Riza reached another agreement to surrender US$108 million in assets, included properties in the US and the UK – a Beverly Hills bungalow, a New York apartment, and a town house in London – as well as cash. The FBI also told the court that Roger Ng reaped US$35.1 million from two of the three bond sales, while Tim Leissner received US$73.4 million during the scheme.

Leissner, the former chief of Goldman Sachs’ Southeast Asia operation, has previously exposed more dirty backroom and bedroom deals – sex, bribes and blackmail – during his testimony in the U.S. federal court in the ongoing 1MDB trial of Roger Ng, Goldman’s Malaysian head of investment banking and the only Goldman banker to go on trial over the epic looting.

While 52-year-old Leissner pleaded guilty in August 2018 to conspiring to violate U.S. anti-bribery laws and money laundering, Ng has pleaded not guilty to helping launder millions of dollars looted from 1MDB. Ng’s lawyer said he is a “fall guy” for one of the biggest financial scandals in Wall Street history, as Leissner testifies as a government witness against Ng.

In 2019, Khadem al-Qubaisi, a United Arab Emirates citizen, was sentenced in Abu Dhabi to 15 years in prison. Mohammed Badawy al-Husseiny, a U.S. citizen who ran a subsidiary of IPIC, was sentenced to 10 years. Both crooks were also ordered to repay US$336 million. In an interview behind the prison, Khadem claimed he was made a “scapegoat” for the UAE’s role in the 1MDB scandal.

However, the scope of the looting could be much wider. The FBI agent said his testimony was based only on certain transactions traceable back to Goldman Sach’s funding of the three bond deals. The scandal involved global investigation across three continents, where money was spent on high-end property, luxury goods and lavish holidays and parties involving Najib, his family and Jho Low.

The FBI testimony, however, was not the first proof that erased Najib’s claims that the money discovered in his bank was donations. In fact, this is the third time that the U.S. authorities have rubbished Najib’s tales. In 2019, documents released by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Najib Razak has been identified as the person who had received kickbacks from bonds issued by 1MDB.

The documents released were in relation to the SEC’s settlement with former Goldman Sachs Group Inc executive Tim Leissner. In detailing the background of the case, the SEC said that Leissner had helped to raise US$6.5 billion (RM26.9 billion) for 1MDB under the guise of supporting projects meant to benefit Malaysians. But the money raised didn’t go to the people of Malaysia.

The commission said – “Leissner and others instead planned and executed a scheme to misappropriate more than US$2.7 billion and distribute the money as bribes and kickbacks to government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi. Including but not limited to Najib as well as to other participants in the scheme and their families, including Leissner.”

The U.S. Securities Commission agreed with the U.S. prosecutors, saying – “Leissner also knew at the time that Najib Razak and government officials from Abu Dhabi and 1MDB officials would receive money from the proceeds of Project Maximus that passed through various shell companies beneficially owned and controlled by himself, Low and others.”

The three bond sales for 1MDB were code-named Project Magnolia, Maximus and Catalyze. Under “Project Maximus”, the second bonds issued by 1MDB in 2012, known as Aabar BVI phase, Najib received US$30 million. But the juiciest kickbacks came from the “Project Catalyze” (Tanore phase) in 2013 when the disgraced ex-PM received a further US$681 million misappropriated from 1MDB.

It was also during the “Project Catalyze” that kickbacks, including “transferring approximately US$1.3 million (RM5.38 million) to the account of a New York jeweller to pay for jewellery for the wife of Najib” happened. This is in reference to 27 different 18-carat gold necklaces and bracelets Jho Low had bought for Rosmah Mansor from the 1MDB money siphoned.

Subsequently, the U.S.-DOJ investigation results says that over US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from the 1MDB fund, with some of the money used to buy the private jet, a super yacht, Picasso paintings, jewellery and real estate. There was no mention of Saudi donations whatsoever in all the three occasions, either by the DOJ, SEC or FBI.

On top of that, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Ahmed Al-Jubeir confirmed in October 2018 that the RM2.6 billion donations had nothing to do with the kingdom’s government. In Najib’s recent appeal, all the judges also found that the so-called letters from one Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud on behalf of the King of Saudi Arabia were so faked that the letters clearly show that they are nothing but a fabrication.

Source : Finance Twitter

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