8 June 2018
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) issued an arrest warrant for financier Low Taek Jho, who US prosecutors have named as a central figure in the plot to embezzle money from 1MDB.
In the meantime, Low has instructed his lawyers to make contact with the MACC and will help with the investigation, his representative said in an emailed statement. Star on Line reported.
Malaysian investigators have met with their counterparts from the US and Singapore to discuss working together.
The Commission has also issued an arrest warrant for SRC International Sdn Bhd director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil Nik Othman Arif Kamil. Bernama reported.
Malaysian authorities are also preparing warrants for two more individuals, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker, Roger Ng, and 1MDB’s ex-chief, Shahrol Halmi, Bloomberg reported.
Shahrol was CEO of 1MDB from its inception in 2009 to 2013 and remained a director of the fund until 2016.
Roger Ng was politically well connected, he was the principal person behind Goldman’s success in handling close to US$8 billion in various bonds that were issued by Malaysian entities since 2009.
Goldman Sachs had helped 1MDB raise US$6.5 billion in three bond sales in 2012 and 2013 to invest in energy projects and real estate to boost the Malaysian economy. It was paid a fee of US$593million, far higher than what a bank would charge a sovereign borrower.
Tim Leissner, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs, Southeast Asia who was the lead banker to the fund, has been barred from the financial industries in Singapore and the US, because he failed to cooperate with an investigation of alleged money laundering connected with 1MDB. The Monetary Authority of Singapore said in October 2017, that he had made false statements on behalf of his bank without its knowledge or consent. He left Goldman Sachs in February 2016.
Apart from raising funds for 1MDB, Goldman Sachs helped the company to move the funds to various countries around the globe. This enabled individuals to lay their hands on these funds without proper supervision and control.
Ng and Tim Leissner were close to Jho Low, and all three were involved in advising the government in starting up 1MDB, then known as Terengganu Investment Authority.
On 27th May 2009, Ismee Ismail and Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi signed a deal arranged by AmInvestment Bank Bhd to raise RM5 billion via the issuance of Islamic Medium Term Notes(IMTN), despite being told not to do so by the Terengganu state government. This exercise was advised by TIA’s special advisor, Jho Low. On 29th May 2009, TIA received RM4.385 billion in net proceeds from IMTN from the full value of RM5 billion. Four months after Najib Razak became the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Minister of Finance (Incorporated) took over TIA and amended its name to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).