Thai police arrest PetroSaudi IT exec over 1MDB leak

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(June 23): Thai police have arrested a former IT executive from PetroSaudi International (PSI) who had leaked information linked to Malaysia's troubled 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The Malaysian Insider learnt that Xavier Justo was picked up on a Thai island yesterday and sent to the capital Bangkok today.

"Xavier Justo was arrested at his home in Thailand by the Crime Suppression Division of the Royal Thai Police yesterday and charged with attempted blackmail and extortion against PetroSaudi International.

"Numerous computers, hard drives and other evidence were seized pursuant to a court ordered search warrant and the investigation is ongoing. Meanwhile PetroSaudi International is considering further legal action in other jurisdictions," PetroSaudi said in a statement today.

A spokesperson for PetroSaudi International said "we are relieved that Mr Justo will now face justice through the courts. We have been the victims of a regrettable crime that has unfortunately been politicised in Malaysia.

"We are happy to finally set the record straight and we apologise to the Malaysian people for the harm that one of our unscrupulous ex-employees has caused to them," he added.

Whistleblower site Sarawak Report had claimed early last month that the entire 1MDB-PetroSaudi joint venture deal was initiated by businessman Low Taek Jho and his team on September 8, 2009, less than a month before the deal was signed.

Also DAP lawmaker Tony Pua had said PSI had created the shell company, 1MDB-PetroSaudi, from scratch on September 18, 2009, just 10 days before its subsidiary received US$1 billion from 1MDB.

Four days later, on September 29, 1MDB bought 40% of new shares in 1MDB-PetroSaudi and injected RM1 billion in cash.

The next day, US$700 million was taken out of 1MDB-PetroSaudi and given to PSI. – The Malaysian Insider