"Donor" Prince Turki Received US$77 Million From 1MDB EXPOSE!
Nawaf Obaid – always willing to give a ‘Saudi insider’ explanation to western journalists.
When foreign news journalists asked Najib’s media coordinator, ex-APCO man Paul Stadlen, last week for the name of the Saudi Royal, claimed to have donated RM2.6 billion to the PM’s election effort, he disappointed them.
Sadly, the Saudi royal family did not wish to reveal any further information, he explained.
On the other hand, Stadlen urged journalists to check out a very ‘insightful’ BBC article, which claimed that the donor was none other than the former King Abdullah, who died last January, acting together with his 7th son, Prince Turki.
The gift came partly from the King’s own money and partly from the coffers of the State of Saudi Arabia itself, added the BBC’s Middle East defence correspondent, who later admitted to Sarawak Report that he knows nothing about Malaysia.
“The $681m (£479m) deposited in the bank account of Malaysian PM Najib Razak by Saudi Arabia was to help him win the 2013 elections, a Saudi source says…. The Saudi source said the donation was made amid concern in Riyadh about the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood…The well-placed Saudi source, who has asked not to be named, told the BBC the payment was authorised from the very top – from Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah – with funds coming from both his personal finances and state funds.”[BBC – Saudi gift to Malaysia PM Najib Razak ‘for election campaign‘]
Few journalists in KL are in any doubt as to who “the well-placed Saudi source, who has asked not to be named” was.
It is widely agreed by a chortling foreign press corps that the ‘deep throat’ could only have been Nawaf Obaid, one of the few ‘strategic analysts’, who talks regularly to the western press in Saudi Arabia.
Indeed, Western journalists who have to report on Saudi matters are very grateful for the garrulous Nawaf, who set himself up as a one-man strategic analyst after doing his BA at the War Studies Department at Kings College London and has now obtained a Fellowship at Harvard.
The Telegraph’s Con Coughlin has reportedly lauded him as one of the best sources in the Middle East and the following day he too was penning an article along remarkably similar lines to the one from the BBC, where again he referred to “one senior Saudi source”, whom he said commented:
“It is not unusual for Saudi Arabia to make donations like this. It happens all the time to help moderate Muslim governments to remain in power so that they can provide regional security tackle the extremist threat.”
Coughlin’s single sourced claim contrasted markedly with feedback obtained by papers with journalists on the ground, like the Wall Street Journal, which reported that Saudi officials had denied any knowledge of such an individual payment, which was described as “unprecedented”.
Recently concluded? Nawaf”s story was snatched upon by the Telegraph to attack its political enemies in the UK
Nevertheless, to have two mainstream publications swallow the story hook line and sinker that King Abdullah had kindly given Najib a secret personal US$681 million dollar donation through an off-shore BVI account, in order that he could illegally rig an election, was manna to UMNO spinners and the BBC ‘corroboration’ in particular appeared in numerous articles internationally.
Nawaf’s record as a paid spinner for Najib
Sarawak Report has, of course, already exposed Nawaf Obaid as one of numerous agents hired by the Prime Minister’s Office over recent years to ‘spin’ against Najib’s political enemies in the western media.
The line up – Jho Low left, Prince Turki 2nd left and Tarek Obaid 2nd right – on the yacht they hired and pretended belonged to the Sauid Prince!
Last month we documented in detail how the supposedly objective insider, was getting monster kick-backs behind the scenes for doing PR favours via his ‘briefings’ of foreign journalists and through “Op Eds” in newspapers, which he arrogantly claimed to be a master writer of, compared to Najib’s official media teams.
We have evidence of payments of over US$1.7 million to Nawaf, in what appear to have been a wider pattern of transfers from his brother Tarek Obaid, in return for his involvement in a campaign to defame the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in the media and in US government circles after 2010.
Please send my brother a million dollars out of that money I got from 1MDB
For the money Nawaf, who did indeed hold a Saudi official post at that time, was also used to access favours for Najib, who was attempting to create an impression of a close personal relationship with the Saudi King.
Yet, when Najib together with Jho Low attempted to engage Nawaf in a plan to organise a visit by King Abdullah to Malaysia and to get the Arab Royal to lend him US$10 billion in 2011 at low interest rates, Nawaf sneeringly dismissed them as fantasists “on drugs”.
“No No N, just ask for 1 Trillion dollars in this case and save everyone the hasstle! Someone is taking some sever and I mean sever DRUGS!” (sic) [Nawaf to brother Tarek]
Even so, five years later the same characters are trying to convince the world that King Abdullah did after all ‘donate’ Najib a 2 billion ringgit bung, on a basis of a couple of short audiences that were achieved in Riyadh.
The Prince Turki connection and his US$77 million kick-back
However, this is not the only respect in which Nawaf Obaid is a deeply compromised source upon which to rely on matters relating to Najib and 1MDB.
Because Nawaf’s brother is none other than the same Tarek Obaid, who was the Director of PetroSaudi, the company which is now being investigated by the Swiss and Singapore authorities, along with the FBI and Serious Fraud Office, for acting as a front to siphon hundreds of millions from Malaysia’s 1MDB development fund.
The money that was paid to Nawaf by Tarek can in fact be traced to the tens of millions of dollars Tarek netted in kickbacks from Najib’s ‘official advisor’ Jho Low, originally looted from 1MDB.
The definitive diagram – pulled together from the documents by The Edge
It was for this reason that Sarawak Report told the BBC that any claim emanating from the single source of Nawaf Obaid should be treated with extreme caution.
A particular give away in the single source-based reportage was the hint that Prince Turki bin Abdullah, the now deceased King’s 7th son, was somehow involved in this generous payment to Najib. Because Turki also is deeply compromised by the whole affair, in that he is the other 50% Shareholder of PetroSaudi and, like Tarek, he was handsomely rewarded with enormous kickbacks out of money extracted from 1MDB.
The money trail (above) obtained from data from PetroSaudi’s own emails (thanks to the now jailed whistleblower Xavier Justo) shows that the Prince, who was by no means personally wealthy as has been implied, received at least US$77 million from the deal.
Here are the confirmations sent by JP Morgan Swiss to PetroSaudi after they handled the payments:
Further payments brought the total to US$77 million from Tarek’s JP Morgan account which received hundreds of millions from Good Star and 1MDB
Payment notice to Tarek Obaid by JP Morgan
Therefore, the idea put forward by the BBC article that Prince Turki, who is described as having “extensive business interests in Malaysia”, was partially the ‘donor’ of Najib’s windfall is laughable.
Far from donating, Turki has looted money from Malaysia!
It has made the Prince vulnerable to pressure, as the people around Najib have sought desperately to find a convincing Arab to pose as the donor, however. The story going round KL is that it was indeed Prince Turki, who was introduced to the Deputy Prime Minister and to MACC officials as the source of the money.
On the basis of these private assurances, backed by no published evidence whatsoever, both parties have now publicly announced that they have ‘met the donor’ and are ‘satisfied’.
Unsurprisingly, the Prince is said to be adamantly resisting any more public show on the matter. Nor has any proof been obtained that the money came from him, beyond his Royal word, which we have shown was already bought for US$77 million.
Sarawak’s ‘Islamic extremism’ problem?
It is perhaps not surprising therefore that the single-sourced information obtained by the BBC and Telegraph appears to be full of uniformed nonsense to those who know something about Malaysia.
For example, the statement by the BBC that most of the money allegedly provided by the Saudi King was spent on projects to prevent Muslim extremism from developing in Sarawak, is laughable.
“The purpose of the donation was simple, said the Saudi source – it was to help Mr Najib and his coalition win the election, employing a strategic communications team with international experience, focusing on the province of Sarawak, and funding social programmes through party campaigning.
But why should the Saudis care about an election in a non-Arab country more than 6,000 km (3,700 miles) away? The answer, the source said, lay in their concerns over the rising power of the Muslim Brotherhood, which they consider a terrorist organisation.” [BBC, “Saudi gift to Malaysia PM Najib Razak ‘for election campaign’]
As everyone who knows knows, Sarawak is predominantly Christian and the Muslim rulers installed by KL protect their base by condemning bigotry.
Yes, much of the money was spent on vote-buying is Sarawak, according to all reports, but the bribes in Sarawak were to secure BN’s so-called “safe deposits” in the isolated rural seats in these backward states, in order to shore up their loss of support in West Malaysia and in the urban areas.
It had nothing to do with Islam, but it provoked the appropriate response from certain western journalists who are focused on terrorism. Well done Nawaf?
The Muslim Brotherhood label carries clear fingerprints leading to Nawaf. It is the accusation that Najib’s PR people have used for years to tarnish the now jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s image amongst liberal allies in the West.
Sarawak Report has already provided emails to show that Nawaf Obaid was also commissioned to spin this accusation on behalf of Najib. It is therefore not at all surprising that he appears to have dragged it up again to try and explain the so-called donation.
On a previous occasion, Nawaf was less lucky in convincing responsible journalists, who had bothered to seek corroboration for his Muslim Brotherhood line against Anwar.
The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen told him in a email in December 2010:
“the most common response I am getting is from people who suggest this is another attempt to damage Anwar Ibrahim’s reputation”.
After which the frustrated spinner emailed his brother to complain “how difficult it has been to get a serious news organisation to run with this subject”
But last week Nawaf scored big time with the Daily Telegraph’s Con Coughlin, who even developed the theme in order to condemn the foreign policy of the British Labour Party, whom his newspaper politically opposes:
‘..the really intriguing fact to emerge from the year-long investigation, has been the revelation that the accusations actually related to a secret payment made by Saudi Arabia to help Mr Najib win the 2013 election campaign.
Ever since the emergence of Islamic State (Isil) in Syria and Iraq, Left-wing critics such as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have consistently accused the Saudis of funding Isil and other Islamist extremist groups.
But what the Najib investigation demonstrates is that the opposite is the case, and that, rather than funding extremists, the Saudi government has been quietly supporting moderate Muslim leaders around the world as part of their attempts to combat the global threat posed by Islamist-inspired extremism.” [Telegraph “Saudi Arabia funds moderate Muslims, not Isil. Extremism is on the rise in South East Asia. Of course the Saudis want to stop that”.]
This is what the world of media spinners would describe as a bullseye for Nawaf and one can only imagine the invoice he might have subsequently put into the Malaysian PM’s Office. Media Coordinator Paul Stadlen will have been happy to pay, it seems, as he re-parcelled the material around his Malaysian media network.
However, when Sarawak Report attempted to call Mr Coughlin to put him right about this latest canard, he sadly slammed down the phone before we had a chance to finish introducing ourselves.