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WSJ claims Jho Low's fingerprints on gas pipeline projects
Published:  Aug 1, 2018 6:03 AM
Updated: 8:21 AM

Fugitive businessman Jho Low purportedly had a central role in the two Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER) gas pipeline projects, which is believed to have been used to launder funds to bailout 1MDB.

This is according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which cited an unnamed former Malaysian official who worked in the Prime Minister's Office.

The official also told the publication that former premier Najib Abdul Razak met Low at the sidelines of the Belt and Road forum in Beijing in May 2017.

At the time, Beijing's China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau had received funds for the projects.

Najib has since denied the WSJ's claim that he met Jho Low.

Meanwhile, WSJ also quoted a current Malaysian official, who claimed that one of Low's associates in 1MDB later attended a meeting to discuss the pipeline projects.

It was reported yesterday that funds from a China Exim Bank loan meant for the RM9.4 billion SSER project was allegedly laundered to pay off 1MDB debts.

WSJ cited current Malaysian officials who believed that a portion of the US$2 billion loan had been channelled into a series of shell companies before ending up in Silk Road Southeast Asia Real Estate Ltd, a China company based in the Cayman Islands.

Malaysiakini is unable to independently verify the WSJ report.

Silk Road's sole beneficial owner is reportedly a Middle Eastern investor, whom the officials believe is an associate of Low.

It was revealed in Parliament that Silk Road had on Aug 24 last year paid 1MDB 4.25 billion yuan (RM2.7 billion), ostensibly to purchase the state-owned fund's 234 acres of land in Ayer Itam, Penang.

However, Silk Road never received the land it had paid for, as the Penang state government imposed a freeze on the property.

The Aug 24 transaction took place just six days before 1MDB paid the first tranche of a US$1.2 billion settlement with Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

The SSER project fell under the spotlight when the new Pakatan Harapan government revealed that SSER had paid the pipeline contractor China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau, US$2 billion (RM8.13 billion) or 88 percent of the project value, even though less than 15 percent of the work had been completed.

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