Abu Dhabi’s state-owned International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) today said neither itself nor its unit Aabar Investments PJS have any links to a British Virgin Islands-incorporated firm named “Aabar Investment PJS Limited” (Aabar BVI).
“Both IPIC and Aabar confirm that Aabar BVI was not an entity within either corporate group... Further, both IPIC and Aabar confirm that neither has received any payments from Aabar BVI nor has IPIC or Aabar assumed any liabilities on behalf of Aabar BVI.” IPIC said in a statement on the London Stock Exchange.
This is a shocking announcement because it has finally confirmed what critics of 1MDB has suspected all along, that 1MDB has been making billions of dollar of payments to a fictitious Aabar BVI, pretending that it was payments to the real Aabar of Abu Dhabi.
The recently tabled PAC Report also confirmed that the Auditor-General was unable to verify these payments to Aabar BVI, which included US$1.367 billion in “refundable security deposits” paid in 2012 which was to act as a collateral for the US$3.5 billion bond guarantee provided by IPIC. Subsequently, 1MDB paid US$993 million to terminate the options granted to Aabar BVI, as well as a further US$855 million and US$295 million as unexplained “top up security deposits”.
The Auditor-General also lamented that 1MDB not only did not provide any bank statements of its foreign bank accounts, it failed to provide any documentary evidence of who are the owners of Aabar BVI.
It is clear now that 1MDB was never able to provide the proof of ownership of Aabar BVI, because Aabar BVI is clearly a fake entity created to siphon the US$3.51 billion or more from 1MDB.
The Wall Street Journal had earlier also alleged that the Dato’ Seri Najib Razak has received US$681 million from Aabar BVI via intermediaries, which the Prime Minister claims was a donation.
In addition, the Wall Street Journal also alleged that Red Granite Pictures which produced “The Wolf of Wall Street” received US$155 million of funding, directly and indirectly from Aabar BVI.
1MDB had issued an immediate response to IPIC’s announcement claiming that it “finds it curious that IPIC and Aabar have waited until April 2016 to issue such a statement”. However, the timing of IPIC’s announcement isn’t surprising because Reuters have recently reported that 2 key former IPIC and Aabar officials, Khadem Al Qubaisi and Mohamed Badawy Al Husseiny have been arrested by the Abu Dhabi authorities.
Malaysians are actually more “curious” why 1MDB paying billions of dollars to the fake Aabar. We are also curious why it has taken so long for 1MDB to finally admit to the
misappropriation since the matter was exposed by the Wall Street Journal in November last year.
Despite repeated questions by the global media and critics like myself, the President of 1MDB, Arul Kanda had stubbornly refused to address the question of who really owns Aabar BVI. Instead, he chose to repeatedly recycle the allegations that we are part of a global malicious conspiracy aiming to discredit 1MDB and the Malaysian Government.
Arul Kanda’s refusal to provide a straight answer to earlier questions only goes to prove that he was fully aware that 1MDB had signed agreements and paid billions of dollars to a fake Aabar BVI which was completely unrelated to IPIC. It also means that Arul Kanda and 1MDB have deceived the Auditor-General and the PAC by their failure to disclose and explain the truth during the investigations.
Hence it is crystal clear that there are parties in 1MDB who have acted in cahoots with IPIC’s former top officials to scam Malaysians of billions of dollar. 1MDB had borrowed US$3.5 billion with the guarantee provided by IPIC for the purpose of acquiring power companies in Malaysia. However, the entire sum and more have been clearly embezzled to an entity, Aabar Investment PJS Ltd, whose real beneficial ownership remains a mystery till today.
Malaysians have had enough of lies from Arul Kanda and 1MDB. We demand that the Royal Malaysian Police act immediately to investigate and arrest all parties involved in this massive scam, aptly termed “the Heist of the Century” by the Sarawak Report.