All-out to re­cover lost money

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Short Position -

EF­FORTS to re­cover stolen money from the scan­dal-rid­den 1Malaysia De­vel­op­ment Bhd (1MDB) have kicked on ever since Pakatan Hara­pan formed the new gov­ern­ment.

With­out wast­ing time, one of the pri­or­i­ties of the cur­rent gov­ern­ment was to throw the book at those re­spon­si­ble for steal­ing money and de­fraud­ing 1MDB.

Apart from fil­ing le­gal charges against in­di­vid­u­als in Malaysia for cor­rup­tion and vi­o­la­tion of the coun­try’s laws, the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s of­fice has also swung into ac­tion to re­cover the stolen money by first con­fis­cat­ing where it can as­sets that were bought us­ing the il­le­gally ob­tained cash from 1MDB.

The Equa­nim­ity, a su­per lux­ury yacht, is now up for auc­tion and the pro­ceeds will be chan­nelled back to the gov­ern­ment. The At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s of­fice is also ap­ply­ing to the High Court in Lon­don for an or­der to set aside a con­sent award to In­ter­na­tional Pe­tro­leum In­vest­ment Com­pany (IPIC) and Aabar In­vest­ments PJS recorded in May last year by an arbitration tri­bunal sit­ting there. Un­der the con­sent award, Malaysia is obliged to pay US$5.78bil (RM24.16bil) to IPIC and the bond trustee over a five-year pe­riod.

So far, US$1.46bil (RM6.1bil) has been paid, leav­ing a bal­ance of US$4.32bil (RM18.06bil), with the next in­ter­est pay­ment of US$50mil (RM209mil) due on Nov 11.

The gov­ern­ment should also launch a le­gal chal­lenge to re­cover monies that were stolen by ex­ec­u­tives of Gold­man Sachs in rais­ing US$6.5bil in debt for 1MDB. Tim Leiss­ner, who was the for­mer chair­man of Gold­man Sachs in South-East Asia, has pleaded guilty to crim­i­nal charges in the US. Roger Ng, his deputy, has been ar­rested in Malaysia for ex­tra­di­tion to the US and is said to be fight­ing that or­der. Large sums of money have also been con­fis­cated from their ac­counts.

The same prin­ci­ple in fight­ing the arbitration award with IPIC should also ap­ply to Gold­man Sachs, which is re­ported to have made US$600mil in fees from its deal­ings with 1MDB. The fact that Leiss­ner pleaded guilty to fraud and the De­part­ment of Jus­tice in the US in its charge said a stag­ger­ing US$2.7bil was di­verted to bribes and kick- backs to peo­ple in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi should be grounds for ac­tion by Malaysia.

Gold­man Sach though has ac­knowl­edged that it is fac­ing a large fine by the US au­thor­i­ties, and Malaysia too should take ac­tion against the firm where high-level ex­ec­u­tives at the firm had acted to cheat the peo­ple of Malaysia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.