ABC Australia’s Four Corners programme has confirmed and documented information published by Sarawak Report about payments into Najib’s AmBank accounts by a mystery ‘Prince‘, previously condemned as ‘malicious falsehoods’ by the Prime Minister’s spokesmen.
ABC corroborated that these payments had been ‘authenticated’ by bizarre letters from a supposed donor, supposedly signed by a Prince Saud Abdulaziz al-Saud from the Private Office of Saud Abdulaziz Majid al-Saud.
Four Corners even published one of this series of letters, which concludes with a revealing denial:
“The Gift should not in any event be construed as an act of corruption since this is against the practice of Islam and I personally do not encourage such practices in any manner whatsoever…” intones the letter of November 1st 2011
So, ought we, like AmBank, just take the word of this ‘Prince’, who went so out of his way to stress that there was nothing corrupt about these gifts of hundreds of millions of dollars – allegedly donated because he supported Najib’s efforts in promoting ‘moderate Islam’? [letter in full below].
It would be easier to do so if there was any evidence that Prince Saud Abdulaziz al-Saud actually existed. However, it would seem that it is his identity rather than our reporting that has proved false.
Indeed, the name is merely generic and does not specify which son of whom this ‘prince’ might be, let alone one who is a multi-billionaire with philanthropic notions towards Malaysia.
Furthermore, the ABC team has added a devastating detail to the information around the identity of this ‘donor’. They have established that the bank transfer documents for these payments provide an altogether different name again for the mystery philanthropist!
The account from which the money actually came was in the name of one Prince Faisal bin Turkey bin Bandar Alsaud and not Prince Saud Abdulaziz al-Saud/ Saud Abdulaziz Majid al-Saud.
Once again, a search of the internet fails to deliver any reference to a gentleman of that specific name – the third related to the same payments – despite his apparent humungous wealth and generous disposition.
However, Sarawak Report can provide new evidence that the very same account also made a separate multi-million dollar payment to none other than the sacked Aabar Chairman, Khadem Al Qubaisi, during the same period in 2012!
On 26th April 2012 the mystery Prince Banda paid a whopping US$23,999,977 into Khadem’s private Vasco Trust account at Edmond de Rothschild Bank in Luxembourg.
What an interesting connection.
The plainly fictitious Prince is not the only connection to be found between secret payments to Najib and secret payments to the ex-Aabar boss. Khadem also received money from the Jho Low companies Good Star Limited and Blackstone Asia Real Estate Parters Limited, which also funded Najib (above).
As Malaysian followers of the 1MDB scandal will know, Al Qubaisi was a key player working with Jho Low and Goldman Sachs to put together a series of multi-billion dollar loans raised by 1MDB. These loans were mystifyingly ‘co-guaranteed’ by Aabar of which he was Chairman.
In return for this guarantee and to terminate supposed ‘options’ in the deals, over US$2.4 billion was allegedly paid to Aabar out of the money raised – except the money did not arrive, according to the accounts of its parent fund IPIC.
Research by the Wall Street Journal shows the money instead went to a BVI company of a similar name (Aabar PJS Limited), incorporated by Khadem and his side-kick CEO Mohammed Al Husseiny.
Khadem and Husseiny were both sacked by Aabar/IPIC last year and are under investigation, their accounts believed frozen.
However, over in Malaysia, Najib and the bosses of 1MDB continue to maintain there has been nothing untoward.
There are more 1MDB connections thrown up by the latest information from Four Corners. The programme also documents that a number of the payments to Najib, sponsored by the ‘Prince’, came from the phoney company Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited (BVI), which has already been exposed by Sarawak Report.
This is how the mysterious Prince of several names explained matters in his letter to the bank:
“I hereby grant you an additional sum of up to United States Dollars Three Hundred and Seventy Five Million (USD375,000,000) Only (“Gift”) which shall be remitted to you at such time and in such manner as I deem fit either directly from my personal bank account or through my instructed company bank accounts (such as Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited). You [Najib] shall have absolute discretion to determine how the Gift shall be utilised…”
This same Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited also sent half a billion dollars to Khadem Al Qubaisi’s Luxembourg account, according to our research. Moreover, Sarawak Report has already identified Blackstone as another of Jho Low’s phoney companies, headed up by his number two, Seet Lin Lee.
The other company known to have paid money to Khadem during this self same period is none other than another of Jho Low’s companies, Good Star Limited, which was the recipient of the US$700 million dollars that was siphoned out of 1MDB’s original ‘joint venture’ with PetroSaudi in 2009 and later received a further US$330 million directly from 1MDB in 2011.
This is all money that Bank Negara is currently demanding back from 1MDB, on the grounds it was misappropriated.
There appears to be a common denominator to all these transactions, which we suggest is Jho Low.
Throughout 2011/12 Khadem Al Qubaisi received money into his Vasco account only from himself; Jho Low’s company Good Star Limited; Jho Low’s company Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited and the mysterious Prince Prince Faisal bin Turkey bin Bandar Alsaud.
Likewise, Najib received money from Blackstone and the ‘Prince’, while he utilised Jho Low for a wide variety of roles and transactions, including de-facto envoy to the Board of 1MDB and the purchase of diamonds for his wife Rosmah in Hong Kong.
Sarawak Report is going to venture an educated guess, therefore, which is that the real identity of the mysterious ‘Prince’ and author of the fawning letters praising Najib’s much vaunted ‘moderate Islam’ initiatives is also Jho Low:
We send out the latest story at 7am Malaysia time