Malaysiakini NEWS

Whistleblower: Lots more on 1MDB and Jho Low

Ram Anand
Published:  |  Modified:

There are "thousands of documents" on the dealings of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and businessman Low Taek Jho's role in the state investment arm in the possession of whistleblower Sarawak Report .

This was revealed by its editor and founder Clare Rewcastle Brown in an email interview with Malaysiakini .

In recent weeks, Sarawak Report ran a series of exposés on 1MDB's 2009 joint venture with Petrosaudi Ltd, highlighting alleged irregularities in the joint venture, and more importantly, publishing damning email communications that purportedly took place among the brokers.

The email indicated that the joint venture, into which 1MDB injected US$1 billion (RM3.62 billion), was being used as a "front" to channel the money into a company controlled businessman Jho Low, who allegedly retains close ties with the family of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Though Petrosaudi has claimed that the email were fabricated, Rewcastle Brown ( left ) insisted otherwise.

"In fact I had neither forged nor hacked to get this material, but I thank Petrosaudi for at least acknowledging the authenticity of the documents I have published. They are indeed genuine email," Rewcastle Brown said, referring to reports that Petrosaudi had lodged a police report with a cyber team in Scotland Yard, accusing the whistleblower of hacking.

"They can't have it both ways, can they?" she asked.

Two years of poring through documents

Rewcastle Brown also revealed that the 1MDB exposés came about after at least two years of pouring through documents and that she had worked with a "number of other journalists" on the matter.

However, she is keeping the source of the documents a secret, saying that they were passed to her on the basis of confidentiality.

She also said that the constant denials from 1MDB and other relevant bodies on the allegations had "failed to prove" whether any profit was indeed made.

"They have chosen instead to hide these supposed profits in an offshore account, rather than using them to balance their books," Rewcastle Brown said, referring to 1MDB's controversial move to park the money it supposedly profited from the Petrosaudi deal in an offshore account in Cayman Islands.

"As the term goes, the proof will be in the pudding and 1MDB should take the advice of the former prime minister (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) and bring this alleged profit money back to Malaysia and open its books," she said.

Sarawak Report , set up in 2010 by Rewcastle Brown, an investigative journalist, had exposed that the joint venture was started with 1MDB having to pay US$700 million (RM 2.536 billion) of the initial cash injection into Petrosaudi's parent company, Petrosaudi International, in order to repay a loan PSI had given to its subsidiary.

Over the weekend, Sarawak Report reported that the US$700 million was actually transferred to a company controlled by Jho Low ( right ), who is said to have engineered the whole deal after getting Petrosaudi International to agree to being a "front" for his benefit.

The expose was published in cooperation with the British newspaper Sunday Times .

While Jho Low's team is yet to respond to the allegations despite queries from Malaysiakini , 1MDB has offered nothing more than maintaining that the joint venture ended in 2012 and that 1MDB had made a profit of US$488 million (RM1.768 billion) from the deal.

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