Monday, April 04, 2016

1MDB once again disingenuous with its denial that it funded "The Wolf of Wall Street" producer, Red Granite Pictures

Global  news  agencies  picked  up  on  the  exposé  by  Wall  Street  Journal  which  claimed  that Red Granite Pictures, the company formed by Riza Aziz to produce “The Wolf of Wall Street”was funded with US$155 million originating from 1MDB.

The  Wall  Street  Journal  said  that  1MDB  had  paid  US$1.4  billion  to  Aabar  Investment  PJS Limited, a company established in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in 2012.

The  payment  was  meant  as  a  collateral  for  the  guarantee  provided  by  Abu  Dhabi’s International  Petroleum  Investment  Corporation (IPIC)  for  1MDB’s  US$3.5  billion  of  bonds. However,  IPIC’s  subsidiary  with  a  similar  name,  Aabar  Investment  PJS  is  set  up  in  Abu Dhabi. IPIC’s  financial  statements  published  on the  London  Stock  Exchange  has  disclosed neither Aabar (BVI) as a subsidiary or the receipt of the US$1.4 billion “collateral” cited by 1MDB.

Red  Granite  Capital  then  received  US$105  million  directly  and  another  US$50  million indirectly via intermediaries from Aabar (BVI).  Red Granite Capital then funded Red Granite Pictures.

1MDB was relatively quick to issue a very short denial. 1MDB said it “has never invested in nor transferred funds to Red Granite Pictures, whether directly or via intermediaries.”

However,  1MDB  has  failed  to  explain  why  it  has  made  the  above  collateral  payments  to Aabar  (BVI)  which  appears  to  be  a  completely unrelated entity  to  IPIC? Can  1MDB  clarify who is the ultimate beneficiary or owner of Aabar (BVI)?

If 1MDB is unable to ascertain the ownership of Aabar (BVI), then why did it transfer such an enormous sum of US$1.4 billion to the company?

Hence it appears that on paper, the transfer of US$1.4 billion is a legitimately made for the purpose of providing  a  collateral. But  upon  closer  scrutiny,  it  may  amount  to  a  fraudulent attempt to mask the embezzlement of funds via the mystery Aabar (BVI) vehicle.

If  1MDB  fails  to  provide  clarity on  the  nature  and  ownership  of  Aabar  (BVI)  with  the necessary  and  appropriate  documents, then  any  denials  it  makes  about  Aabar  (BVI)  not being an “intermediary” would have zero credibility.

In fact, the best thing for 1MDB to do now is to request IPIC to issue an official statement confirming its  alleged  relationship  with  Aabar  (BVI).  It  would  put  to  rest  all  of  the  global allegations against  1MDB  today. Given  1MDB’s  intimate  relationship  with  IPIC  and  Abu Dhabi, why haven’t IPIC come to 1MDB’s rescue?

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