Enough proof to charge Jho Low, Najib and ex-1MDB chief, says PKR

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KUALA LUMPUR  (Mar 9): Whistleblower site Sarawak Report's recent ‎exposes on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) have provided enough evidence for Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low and ex-1MDB CEO Datuk Shahrol Halmi to be charged under two laws, PKR said today.

PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was also liable, adding that he would be lodging a police against all three tomorrow at the Dang Wangi police station in the capital.

Rafizi said the leaked PetroSaudi email correspondence was enough to charge Low and Shahrol with criminal breach of trust and violating the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

However, he did not specify what Najib, who is the 1MDB advisory board chairman, should be investigated for.

"It is shocking that in his communication with PetroSaudi (International), Jho Low daringly said that the transfer of funds from 1MDB to PetroSaudi did not need the approval of Bank Negara Malaysia, which clearly goes against the Anti-Mo‎ney Laundering Act," said Rafizi in a statement today.

"This strengthens my earlier statement that Jho Low and former 1MDB CEO Datuk Shahrol Halmi are proven to have violated the Anti-Money Laundering Act as they did not state who was the final recipient of the money, as revealed in the emails released by Sarawak Report."

Rafizi was referring to Sarawak Report's article yesterday, which claimed Low had attempted to bypass BNM ‎in his bid to speed up 1MDB's US$500 million loan to PetroSaudi in 2010.

Low had allegedly told PetroSaudi Director Patrick Mahony that BNM's approval was unnecessary as the prime minister, who is also the finance minister, had signed off the loan itself.

"As such, I call for them to be investigated immediately and charged," said Rafizi, who is also PKR vice-president and Pandan MP.‎

"I will lodge a police report against Jho Low, Datuk Shahrol Halmi and Datuk Seri Najib tomorrow, at the Dang Wangi police headquarters so that this case is investigated immediately based on the clear evidence."‎

1MDB's links to PetroSaudi were thrown in the spotlight after Sarawak Report claimed that Low had orchestrated the 2009 joint venture between the two companies to siphon off US$700 million from 1MDB.

Sarawak Report claimed that PetroSaudi agreed to act as a "front" for Low in future deals, and that the firm had no wealth or assets of its own.

The joint venture fell through only six months later, but 1MDB continued to conduct deals with PetroSaudi, and lent it another US$500 million in 2010, and another US$300 million in May, 2011, for reasons it has never disclosed.

Sarawak Report's exposes have prompted opposition politicians, former Umno leaders and anti-graft bodies to demand a thorough investigation into 1MDB, and put pressure on Najib, who is also chairs the 1MDB advisory board.

Last Wednesday, Najib ordered the auditor-general to vet 1MDB's accounts after the Cabinet was briefed about the company's accounts and told that allegations against it were related to transactions by third parties such as PetroSaudi.