Two UMNO leaders, Ahmad Maslan and Shahrir Samad, were charged with money laundering in January 2020 for having received RM2 million and RM1 million respectively from former Prime Minister Najib Razak. The money was part of at least US$4.5 billion stolen from 1MDB sovereign funds. Both politicians got into trouble for failure to declare the money with the taxmen.
Lim Guan Eng, secretary-general of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), has been charged for asking bribes in a project that has yet to begin. Unlike Maslan and Shahrir, there was no money trail in Lim’s case because no money has changed hands. He was being charged for allegedly soliciting gratification based on hearsay – something that has not happened.
So, if Maslan, Shahrir and Lim could be charged, should not Rohana Rozhan, former CEO of Malaysian media giant Astro Malaysia Holdings, also be charged? Rohana’s offences were worse – extortions, not to mention illicit sex, and spending US$10 million (RM42 million) believed to be also money siphoned and stolen from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
No wonder disgraced Najib had once hinted that the circle of people involved in the 1MDB was much bigger than anyone could imagine. Had not Tim Leissner pleaded guilty and agreed to become the star witness against his own subordinate and best friend Roger Ng, the ex-CEO of Astro would probably get away with not only 10 years of affairs with Leissner, but also RM42 million.
Leissner, the former chief of Goldman Sachs’ Southeast Asia operation, has exposed the extraordinary dirty backroom and bedroom deals – sex, bribes and blackmail – during his testimony in a U.S. federal court in the ongoing 1MDB trial of Roger Ng, Goldman’s Malaysian head of investment banking. The juiciest revelation was his 10-year affair with Rohana.
While the 1MDB scandal involved global investigation across three continents, the lucky Leissner too had affairs with three women. Besides Anis Jamaludin, the daughter of Jamaluddin Jarjis (Najib’s best friend), and Elia Geneid, the niece of Abdul Taib Mahmud (the most corrupt former Sarawak Chief Minister), his affairs with Rohana was the most dramatic and explosive.
The Goldman Sachs banker was in a romantic relationship with Rohana from 2003 to 2013, until he decided to marry U.S. TV personality Kimora Lee Simmons in 2013. He “faked” a divorce decree in order to marry Simmons while still being married to then-wife, Judy Chan. At the same time, while Leissner was still being married to Chan, he also had an affair with Rohana.
However, Rohana was upset when Leissner wanted to end the relationship and had blackmailed to expose him unless he buy her a US$10 million house in London. Leissner said – “If I didn’t buy her a house, she would tell the authorities about my involvement in the 1MDB scandal. She was threatening to expose me. At the time, 2013, I was very fearful of that.”
Now, here’s where the fun begins. Having shared the same bed with Leissner for 10 years, Rohana possessed a good wealth of information about the 1MDB scandal. The fact that Leissner was so terrified with her threat to expose his involvement in the embezzlement, so much so he had to buy her the US$10 million house also means she could testify against Najib.
Even if hypocrite Muslim politicians like Hadi Awang did not see the needs to prosecute Rohana for “Zina” or unlawful sexual intercourse, there is plenty of evidence to charge the former Astro CEO for extortion. Another offence is the purchase of the London property using funds that were stolen from 1MDB. Remember, she knew all about the dirty money, yet blackmailed Leissner to buy it for her.
In the case of Ahmad Maslan and Shahrir Samad, they could claim innocent and ignorant about the source of the money given by their boss Najib. However, in the case of Rohana, she knew precisely how Leissner stole tens of millions of dollars from 1MDB and wanted her share when her lover decided to dump her. It was also an offence that she did not report such thievery to the authorities.
Therefore, either she is charged or becomes a star witness against Najib, the same way Leissner had pledged guilty and made a deal with the U.S. Justice Department to become a witness. Either way, she must be made to surrender the US$10 million real estate, believed to be at the exclusive Montpelier Street in London. After all, the posh property was bought with taxpayers’ money that was stolen.
She can’t claim innocence, or argued that it was a “gift”, the same way crooked Najib has comically claimed that the US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) found in his private bank accounts was “donation” from the royal house of Saudi Arabia, something which he could not prove in both High Court and the Court of Appeal. In fact, Rohana could be charged for money laundering.
Even if the money used by Leissner to buy the London property came from his own commission, it would be incredibly difficult to establish that the money was clean or legitimate. That’s because the former Goldman banker has also admitted to the U.S. court that he had stolen US$80 million from his accomplice – Jho Low (real name: Low Taek Jho).
Yes, there’s no honour among thieves. During his testimony in a U.S. federal court on Thursday (Feb 24), Tim Leissner exposed that as a result of his help with Roger Ng to siphon off a large portion of the US$6.5 billion raised through three 1MDB bond deals, he received a whopping US$60 million in kickbacks. But the money was not enough for the greedy man.
Apparently, when Jho Low asked Leissner to “hold” €145 million (US$162 million; RM680 million) in a shell company in Mauritius, Leissner saw a golden opportunity and helped himself to RM80 million. Leissner then used the money he stole from Low to buy a US$50 million boat as well as a Manhattan apartment at 68th Street and Madison Avenue, among others.
Exactly how does Rohana plan to prove that the US$10 million property was bought with clean money, especially after Leissner admitted to the court that in his personal life, he lied, stole and cheated? Depending on how the real estate was purchased, the former Astro chief could be in more trouble if she did not declare the money or asset to the LHDN (Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri or Inland Revenue Board).
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri and his predecessor Muhyiddin Yassin, whose political career is either being threatened or had been destroyed by Najib Razak, should take this opportunity to leverage on Rohana to testify against Najib. Just get the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Attorney General’s Chambers to charge her, and she will sing like a canary.
Source : Finance Twitter