Rosmah netted over half a billion dollars worth of fancy diamonds out of the money looted from 1MDB, as did senior figures in Abu Dhabi. And guess what: Prime Minister Najib authorised the entire heist from start to finish.
These are just some of the key takeaways from the latest scoop from Al Jazeera, who have obtained an exclusive update on the fugitive fixer Jho Low’s whereabouts, which includes several of his recorded confessions in which he points the finger at key suspects over 1MDB, as he sought to broker a deal to secure his freedom last year with the Malaysian authorities from the past government.
The story has been aired overnight in a documentary Jho Low: Hunt For A Fugitive by reporter Mary Ann Jolly.
See the full documentary – click here
The report confirms that Jho Low has been receiving high level Chinese protection, residing with his entourage in the Macau home of a senior member of the Communist Party.
It also reveals he has been travelling the world as late as November of last year, thanks to yet another of a series of island passports which appear to have been obtained through the company Henley & Partners – the latest being identified as having been issued in Grenada.
The November trip took Jho to Abu Dhabi, where he fled the day before agreeing to meet with Malaysian negotiators who had been attempting to reach a deal with the fugitive, who had sought to present his thefts as a ‘loan’ which he was now willing to return. Jho Low later reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice in which he surrendered all assets seized.
Tellingly, during his conversations with Malaysian negotiators during the period when the previous PH government were fully engaged in trying to track down the miscreants involved in the scandal, Jho Low identified ‘the people’ in Abu Dhabi as one of the main players responsible and suggested the country still owed half a billion dollars stolen from the funds.
Sarawak Report has obtained bank records which showed that over $500 million was diverted into the Vasco Trust account held in the name of the Aabar/IPIC sovereign wealth fund CEO Khadem al Qubaisi (‘KAQ’, now jailed) at the Edmond de Rothschild bank in Luxembourg.
His boss at IPIC was the royal Prince Mansour who ultimately signed off together with his brother the Crown Prince on a strategic partnership with Malaysia over 1MDB, which included bogus guarantees for the money borrowed by the Malaysian fund.
In July, a Department of Justice filing on the case confirmed that $160 million of the money from the Vasco account was spent on repaying the loan on Prince Mansour’s private yacht, Topaz. Hundreds of millions were also spent on cars, properties and racing car teams connected to KAQ and funnelled into the Hakkasan nightclub and entertainment empire based in the UK and US, which was subsequently re-absorbed into Aabar.
The PH government had pursued vigorous legal action against Abu Dhabi for its alleged complicity in the fraudulent bond issues raised for 1MDB by Jho Low with the connivance of Goldman Sachs, including demanding billions in recompense and the repayment of the kickbacks. However, efforts under PN have collapsed in all directions and the new administration has admitted it has suspended court action in pursuit of a settlement. Despite months of inactivity no solutions have been announced.
Al Jazeera say they obtained their information through records and recordings obtained via insiders in Malaysia. Jho Low, they say, shows no remorse or regret for his own actions in the affair and he was also ready to blame the senior figures he said had obviously put him up to the job.
Without authorisation from Najib, he confirms, he could never had carried out the huge loans and transfers from Malaysia that ultimately ended up in his bank accounts and also Najib’s and those of his step-son Riza, along with the other conspirators paid off along the way.
Keeping Rosmah happy was a big part of his task reveals Jolly, who quotes Jho Low in saying that the notorious $27 million dollar pink fancy diamond referred to in Department of Justice court filings represented just a fraction of the haul of precious gems he bought with the stolen cash. He claimed at least half a billion dollars worth of 1MDB money went on jewellery for Rosmah.
The Penang born fraudster also refers to the ‘tall story’ that Najib has stuck to for years, claiming that the $681 million which Sarawak Report identified in his AmBank account had arrived as a gift from then King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
A gift had been made, Jho Low confirms, however it was a fraction of that sum, which had indeed been siphoned back out of thefts from the Goldman Sachs bonds raised by 1MDB.
Watch for the full details and listen to Jho Low’s own recorded confessions direct from Al Jazeera (details upcoming).
And see the full written report by Mary Ann Jolly
To be updated.