Mahathir Arrests Najib, Saudi Royal Family May Face Tough Questions

Mahathir Arrests Najib, Saudi Royal Family May Face Tough Questions

Mahathir Arrests Najib, Saudi Royal Family May Face Tough Questions

Malaysia’s disgraced former prime minister Najib Razak, who is to be charged in court on Wednesday in connection with the multibillion-dollar financial scandal at the 1MDB state fund he helped set up, is facing the prospect of a lengthy jail term.

The involvement of the Saudi royal family is an unexpected twist in a scandal over the mysterious funds transfer and the troubles of indebted state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), whose advisory board Najib chairs.

The Royal in question, Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud was arrested in Saudi Arabia in a “corruption crackdown” conducted by a new royal anti-corruption committee in November. This was done on authority of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

Najib has said the RM2.6bil (US$681mil) of funds deposited in his personal bank account were a donation from a Saudi royal, rebutting reports that it came from 1MDB.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said funds wired into Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank account were a “genuine” donation originating from Saudi Arabia.

The case would now be a major concern for the Saudi Royal Family, Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud looks set to face more scrutiny.

The case against Najib is expected to also revolve around the transfer of millions into his account from SRC International Sdn Bhd as there is overwhelming evidence incriminating the former prime minister.

Officials close to case described the transfer of the funds, estimated at more than RM42mil between December 2014 and early 2015, as a very strong “open and shut” case against Najib.

“It was an open and shut case. All transactions were between local companies and banks,” said a source.

It is learnt that key executives in the case are already in the custody of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

SRC International director, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil is the person said to have played a key role in the transfer of funds. Nik Faisal is believed to be Indonesia. The other person in SRC is Datuk Suboh Md Yassin who surrendered to the MACC last month.

A high-profile team lead by Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail – who was the Attorney General then – was disbanded in June 2015 a few days before they were about to firm up charges against Najib for alleged bribery of some RM32mil.

The draft charges were already at the final stages of being finalised when Abdul Gani sacked in July 2015.

It has been reported that a total of RM42mil was transferred from SRC International into Najib’s private accounts in AmBank between December 2014 and February through two intermediary companies.

SRC International was a subsidiary of 1MDB before it was taken over by the Finance Ministry.


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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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