See More on Facebook

Economics, Politics

Goldman Sachs and 1MDB

The US Justice Department’s first charges against individuals related to the pillaging of the Malaysia investment fund known as 1MDB offers several new insights into the global, multibillion-dollar scandal.


Written by

Updated: November 2, 2018

For­mer Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng has been arrested in Malaysia while his former colleague Tim Leissner pleaded guilty in New York over financial transactions related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The United State’s Department of Justice (DoJ) has charged Leissner alongside fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low (pic), over funds misappropriated from 1MDB and paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials.

The three-count indictment charges Low with misappropriating money from 1MDB and using it for bribes and kickbacks to foreign officials, to pay for luxury real estate, art and jewellery in the US and to fund Hollywood movies, including The Wolf of Wall Street.

Leissner pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and to violating anti-bribery laws. He has been ordered to forfeit $43.7mil (RM182.27mil) as a result of his crimes.

The charges relating to 1MDB are the first by DOJ.

In 2016, the DOJ had reportedly recovered over US$1bil (RM4.17bil – current conversion rate) that was allegedly stolen and sought the forfeiture of property including a Bombardier private jet, a Manhattan penthouse, a Beverly Hills mansion and paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet.

This is the second time Low is being charged over 1MDB.

Malaysian police filed the first set of criminal charges on Aug 24 against Low and his father Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng over money allegedly stolen 1MDB.

The charges for money laundering were brought against the father and son “in absentia” by the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) and the Attorney General’s Chambers. Warrants of arrest for both men were also sought.

1MDB was set up in 2009 by then-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to promote economic development. Najib chaired its advisory board and as finance minister held veto power over its activities.

A friend of Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz, Low, had no official role at 1MDB but had considerable influence over its dealings and was often in contact with Najib, according to the DoJ.

The scandal has already had major political ramifications in Malaysia, where Najib in 2015 sacked his attorney general Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyid-din Yasin for demanding answers about 1MDB. A parliamentary inquiry found many irregularities but had no mandate to prosecute.

Current Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, outraged over the scandal, then came out of retirement and the opposition united behind him in the national elections, leading to Najib’s ouster in May.

In June, anti-corruption investigators also questioned Najib’s wife about alleged theft and money-laundering.

 

 



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Star
About the Author: The Star is an English-language newspaper based in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Economics, Politics

China pledges international pandemic aid

 Producers of medical goods urged to meet demand from affected countries. China has pledged to do its best to offer aid to countries and international organisations affected by COVID-19 to help contain the outbreak, and businesses are being urged to boost production of epidemic prevention materials to meet demand from abroad. The announcement was made at a meeting of the leading group of China’s coronavirus response, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday. Relevant departments and local authorities must step up co-ordination to closely monitor and analyse the quick spread of the outbreak outside China and roll out more targeted measures to prevent the import and export of infection, the group said in a statement. It is important to further


By China Daily
March 13, 2020

Economics, Politics

Back to work in Beijing, with tough measures in place

 Mandatory quarantine for those coming from overseas; some Wuhan businesses may reopen. As most of China attempts to return to normalcy after an extensive lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the capital Beijing has been carefully trying to strike a balance between having people restart work while also trying to keep out imported infections, and yesterday ordered a mandatory quarantine for all international arrivals. This comes as the Hubei government announced that some businesses in Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicentre, would gradually be allowed to reopen. On Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan, his first visit to the city since the outbreak, a sign that the crisis could finally be easing after the government’s toug


By The Straits Times
March 12, 2020

Economics, Politics

Xi vows victory over coronavirus in Wuhan

President expresses condolences to families of people who died in epidemic. President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak remains the top priority and most important task, even amid the recent positive signs. Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark during his inspection tour in the outbreak’s epicentre, Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. The spread of the novel coronavirus has been basically curbed in Hubei and Wuhan, Xi said, adding that initial success has been made in stabilising the situation and turning the tide in Hubei and Wuhan. Xi encouraged local residents and front-line worke


By China Daily
March 11, 2020

Economics, Politics

China sets example in fighting virus

Epidemic reveals inadequacies in global governance; Beijing says it’s ready to help. China’s response to novel coronavirus pneumonia has set an example for the world in coping with the contagion and offered experience in advancing global public health governance, officials and experts said. The COVID-19 outbreak has also raised the alarm about global public health security and reminded countries that co-operation and co-ordination are needed to deal with challenges as infectious diseases can rapidly escalate into global emergencies, they said. There is a growing positive momentum in epidemic control nationwide thanks to the “comprehensive, thorough and rigorous” measures that China has taken to contain the virus, they said, noting that the daily


By China Daily
March 10, 2020

Economics, Politics

More than 800,000 people return Beijing under quarantine

“There’s still a risk of an outbreak of the disease with people coming to Beijing from other cities and countries,” Zhang Tongjun, deputy head of a group for prevention and control work in the city’s residential communities, said during an afternoon conference. About 827,000 people who came back to Beijing from outside the city are still in a 14-day quarantine to see if they had been infected with the novel coronavirus, an official said on Friday. “There’s still a risk of an outbreak of the disease with people coming to Beijing from other cities and countries,” Zhang Tongjun, deputy head of a group for prevention and control work in the city’s residential communities, said during an afternoon conference. Z


By China Daily
March 9, 2020

Economics, Politics

South Korea declares third city as special care zone as cases spike

President Moon receives letter of support from North Korean leader as infected cases cross 6,000. South Korea has declared a third city a “special care zone” to boost its capability to fight a spike in coronavirus infections, with cases nationwide soaring beyond 6,000. The death toll stands at 42, mostly the elderly with underlying health conditions, while 88 people have recovered, including 47 discharged yesterday. The care zone announcement came as the presidential Blue House revealed that South Korean President Moon Jae-in received a letter on Wednesday from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressing support and comfort to the people battling the coronavirus outbreak, adding that he is confident they will “prevail in this fight wit


By The Straits Times
March 6, 2020