Wife of the Malaysia Prime Minister, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is urged to return the RM128 million jewelry allegedly bought using stolen money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The Reuters quoted US Department of Justice (DOJ) reporting that Rosmah was linked to the purchases of jewelry worth almost RM128.29 million using laundered money for the 1MDB funds via Najib’s account.
Reuters said according to the latest DOJ reports, the diamond necklace was purchased back in 2013, just a month after the USD680 was transferred to Najib’s personal account in Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian government said that the money was a donation from the Saudi royalty.
The diamond necklace was purchased from Loraine Schwartz in New York and the latest summons from DOJ revealed Jho Low’s order to Schwartz in June 2013.
“Need an 18 carat pink heart diamond vivid or slightly short of vivid. On diamond necklace urgent.”
According to DOJ’s report, a month after the order Schwartz showed the necklace to a group of individuals, including Rosmah on a luxury and big yacht – Topaz – in Monaco. Jho Low hired a 147-yard-sailing vessel for seven days in early July 2013.
Rosmah and Jho Low also met Schwartz at a hotel in New York in September of the same year when Najib was in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UN).
The necklace was eventually handed over to an unnamed friend of Rosmah in Hong Kong in the year 2014, who later handed it over to Rosmah in Kuala Lumpur. Jho Low also manages 27 other jewelry purchases worth RM5.56 million to Rosmah in 2014.
Among the recipients of the assets acquired using 1MDB money is the famous actor, Leonardo DiCaprio. He was awarded an RM3.2 million luxury painting by Jho Low. US media have reported that the actor had begun proceedings to return the assets to the US government. This is a commendable step.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in a statement that the jewelry was not Rosmah’s personal property as it was purchased using the stolen 1MDB money.
“I am waiting for Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to return the jewelry worth RM128 million to the Malaysian government. The jewelry is not her personal belonging as it was paid for with the 1MDB funds.
“Hence, I urge Datin Seri Rosmah to do so soon.”
The president of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party said that the amount of money used for jewelry shopping could be used for various welfares for underprivileged Malaysians.
He pointed out that the fund of the Poor Student Trust Fund (KWAPM) had received an allocation of RM400 million in 2009, but this year only RM100 million has been allocated to KWAPM to be distributed to over one million poor students nationwide.
“It would be nice if Datin Seri Rosmah could return the jewelry to the government. With the return, the government will get an increase of RM128 million which can be put into the KWAPM fund for the benefit of poor students nationwide.
“I mentioned these things with no intentions of mocking the Prime Minister and his wife. But to show how losing 1MDB money affects the masses. A lot of citizens could have benefited from the huge sum of money but unfortunately everything was wiped out in a blink of an eye due to the misappropriation of funds by a prime minister.”