Sarawak Report has obtained a copy of what appears to be a forged JP Morgan bank statement, which was sent by Tarek Obaid to his partner Prince Turki bin Abdullah.
The statement, which purports to be drawn up by JP Morgan relates the the supposed closure of an ‘escrow account’ at the bank in September 2010, after a series of virtually equal payments to the two shareholders of PetroSaudi at the time, Prince Turki bin Abdullah and Tarek Obaid.
Sarawak Report has established that Mr Obaid sent this document to his partner as ‘proof’ to show how money that was obtained from the 1MDB deal was divided equally between the two.
Prince Turki was merely a sleeping partner at PetroSaudi. Obaid managed the business and had passed Prince Turki several million after the joint venture was signed on the understanding that this was a regular agreed percentage to go to the two business partners. By the 14th of September 2010 when the account was closed Turki had received $77 million into his account at Samba Financial Group ($67 million passed during 2010 and $10 million shortly after the signing of the joint venture in 2009).
The Prince may well have believed that the total of $77 million was his ‘justified payment’ as part of the $1.83 billion dollar business dealings with 1MDB. He may not have been aware that Najib Razak’s proxy Jho Low snatched the bulk of that money into his own account.
This would certainly explain why Tarek Obaid sent him what appears to be the forged document showing the equal payments before the ‘escrow account’ was closed. Because, whilst the payments registered for Prince Turki are correct and match the transactions registered by the bank, according to data obtained by Sarawak Report, there were no matching payments for Tarek Obaid.
The information available indicates that in fact Obaid extracted far larger sums from the 1MDB deal over the course of time and in very different ways to the sums registered above.
These include, for example, the $85 million dollars paid to Tarek straight after the joint venture was signed in October 2009 as a “Brokerage Fees”. That backhander was sent to Tarek, from Jho Low’s company Good Star Limited out of the $700 million that Low had just diverted from the joint venture deal.
Altogether, calculations suggest, that Tarek Obaid received at least $150 million from 1MDB, which was more than double the money received by his trusting royal partner in the company. Turki left PetroSaudi in 2014 and these payments are unconnected to those identified by the DOJ in 2011, when stolen money was sent from Good Star to Prince Turki’s Riyadh bank account and then on to Najib Razak.
Sarawak Report concludes that the ‘escrow account statement’ represents yet another forgery of a bank documents executed by the conspirators of 1MDB. Several cases of forgery had already been cited in the various court procedings against banks and individuals connected with the fund. Malaysia’s Auditor General also referred to his own suspicion that documents provided by 1MDB management to his enquiry were “suspicious”.
Indeed, it is notable that the suspicious JP Morgan statement has deliberately left out the number of the bank account it is supposed to be referring to, which is never the case with a genuine statement. It would appear that this was to prevent anyone checking if the account exists, which it did not.
The other aspects of the fake statement on the other hand appear to be closely modelled on the genuine statement by JP Morgan listing the payments made to Prince Turki in 2010. Sarawak Report therefore believes this was the template used to create a seemingly authentic looking document.
Perhaps the Prince and Mr Obaid would care to issue a joint statement if they take issue with Sarawak Report’s conclusion that some of the perpetrators of this heist were not just cheating the Malaysian people, but were also cheating each other.
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