Friday, May 13, 2016

Dato' Seri Najib Razak must explain how his stepson, Riza Aziz could amass such enormous wealth which WSJ now attributes to be sourced from 1MDB

Riza  Aziz  acquired  a  US$33.5  million  7,700-square-foot  duplex  in  the  Park  Laurel condominium tower overlooking New York’s Central Park and an 11,000-square-foot walled mansion in Beverly Hills with a 120-foot-long pool for more than $17.5 million in 2012.

These property transactions worth US$51 million (RM204 million) was first exposed by The Sarawak Report in December 2013. They were subsequently confirmed by Riza Aziz himself to the New  York  Times,  in  a  story  entitled “Jho  Low,  Well-Connected  in  Malaysia,  Has Appetite for New York”, published in February 2015.

However  yesterday,  for  the  first  time,  The  Wall  Street  Journal  made  the  allegation  which Malaysians  have  suspected  all  along, that  the  source  of  funds  for  the  above  purchases originated from the controversial debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The global financial daily reported that investigators believe that money used to buy the two properties  was  part  of  at  least  $238  million that was transferred to an offshore company wholly owned by Riza Aziz, Red Granite Capital from Aabar Investments PJS Ltd. The funds were transferred  directly and indirectly via  intermediaries  in  batches  of  US$133 million, US$60 million, US$45 million and US$50 million throughout 2012.

Based  on  information  1MDB  provided  to  the  Auditor-General  which  was  cited  in  the  Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report on 1MDB, the company had paid the British Virgin Islands (BVI)-incorporated Aabar Investment PJS Ltd US$567 million and US$790 million in May and October 2012 respectively as “refundable security deposits”. 1MDB had further paid the BVI-Aabar US$2.143  billion  between  September  2014  to  January 2015  purportedly  for “options termination compensation” and “top-up security deposits”.

However,  Aabar  Investment  PJS  Ltd  which  has  already  been  liquidated,  has  recently  been exposed as a fraud when the parent of the real Aabar Investment PJS incorporated in Abu Dhabi, International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) officially denied any ties with the similarly named BVI company.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the new documents also show that $60 million of the total received  by  Red  Granite  Capital  was sent  on  the  same  day  that  1MDB sent the $790 million to Aabar in the British Virgin Islands.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak had told The New York Times previously that he “does not track how much Mr.  Aziz  earns  or  how  such  earnings  are  reinvested.” As  for  the  prime minister himself, the Prime Minister said he had “received inheritance.”

Such  tenuous  reply,  already  incredulous  in  the  first  place, can  no  longer  justify  Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s continued silence on his stepson’s spending spree in the United States.

The  Wall  Street  Journal  previous  allegations  such  as  the  billions  of  dollars  of  1MDB  funds have  been  misappropriated  to  a  fraudulent  Aabar  Investment  PJS  Limited  have  proven themselves to be true.The latest allegation, if proven true, will show that Dato’ Seri Najib
Razak’s direct  family  members  have  benefited  at  least  hundreds  of  millions  from  the misappropriated funds to acquire outrageously priced property assets overseas.

The  Prime  Minister  must  now  show  proof  that  Riza  Aziz,  with  less  than  4  years  prior experience  as  a  junior  banker  with  HSBC  London  prior  to  founding  Red  Granite  in  2011 obtained  his  wealth  legally,  above  board  and unrelated  to  1MDB.  If  Dato’  Seri  Najib  Razak refuses  to  do  so, then  he cannot blame ordinary Malaysians who believes him to be completely guilty of corruption and abuse of power.

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