How to fill RM28 billion hole at 1MDB?

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QUESTION TIME Desperate people are dangerous people - not just to themselves but to all of those around them. The more powerful you are when you are desperate and the more influence you have, the more dangerous you are to more and more people. What dangerous, despicable things will desperate people do to fill up that RM28 billion hole at 1MDB?

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) civil filings to recover over US$1 billion in assets purportedly belonging to our disgraced “strategic development company” 1Malaysia Development Berhad or 1MDB very comprehensively explained how over US$3.5 billion (US$3.657 billion to be exact or RM14.6 billion at current exchange rates) was allegedly stolen from the country.

The DOJ filings painstakingly detailed the money trail for the over US$3.5 billion purportedly stolen from 1MDB, which is wholly owned by the Minister of Finance Inc, an arm of the Finance Ministry, showing that a total of US$730 million went into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s bank accounts, of which US$620 million were returned to one of the accounts from where it came.

According to the filings, most of the money went to accounts controlled by Low Taek Jho aka Jho Low, while the other portions went to two senior officials - since dismissed - of Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corp or IPIC and its subsidiary Aabar PJS Investments (their CEOs in fact), and Riza Aziz, the PM’s stepson (Rosmah Mansor’s son).

Some three quarters, amounting to US$2.627 billion or RM10.5 billion of the embezzled 1MDB funds went into the accounts of Jho Low, from which portions were subsequently distributed into other accounts. Over and above this, US$238 million or over RM950 million went to Riza Aziz while nearly US$540 million or some RM2.16 billion went to the accounts of the two senior officials at IPIC and Aabar.

The DOJ filings add on to other reports, including one from our very own auditor-general. News reports quoting the auditor-general’s report on 1MDB say that some US$7 billion (RM28 billion) worth of 1MDB assets could not be verified and accounted for.

That means that between US$3.5 billion and US$7 billion of 1MDB money could have gone missing - a further US$3.5 billion over and above what the US DOJ says could still be missing and misappropriated or stolen. The gaping hole in 1MDB could be as large as RM28 billion but is at least RM14 billion deep. The auditor-general’s report has been classified under the Official Secrets Ac,t which means that there is much information there which the government is suppressing from public view.

1MDB itself admitted that over US$3.5 billion it purportedly paid Aabar has gone missing. Neither IPIC nor Aabar acknowledge the payments. Apparently, 1MDB paid into the account of a British Virgin Islands company with a similar name! And still 1MDB claims that all is well and no police report has been lodged.

IPIC is now claiming from 1MDB not US$3.5 billion but US$6.5 billion under arbitration proceedings filed in London - that’s US$3 billion more than the payment gone missing of US$3.5 billion. It’s not clear why but if the arbitration goes against 1MDB, Malaysia has to pay out US$6.5 billion...

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