Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali cannot dismiss the possibility that US$4 billion (RM16.6 billion) of misappropriated funds by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was part of the RM2.6 billion donation to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, says DAP's Tony Pua.
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said Apandi had yet to verify the source of the RM2.6 billion that wound up in the prime minister's accounts, since the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had announced the investigation into the donation was incomplete.
"The question that we need to ask Tan Sri Apandi Ali is how did he satisfy himself that, even if the funds deposited into the prime minister’s personal bank accounts came from the mysterious Arab donor, the money did not originate from 1MDB?
"MACC’s deputy director of operations Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull has publicly stated that the RM2.6 billion probe was still incomplete as investigators needed to collect documents and statements from individuals from several overseas financial institutions.
"Shukri said the commission filed a request with the A-G to obtain mutual legal assistance (MLA).
"However, Tan Sri Apandi has already concluded that there was 'no necessity' for Malaysia to make a request for an MLA to any foreign states to complete the investigation by the MACC in relation to the donation," said Pua in a statement today.
On Tuesday, Apandi told a press conference the US$681 million deposited into Najib’s personal accounts a donation from the Saudi royal family given “without any consideration” and closed the case. But authorities in Switzerland investigating 1MDB uncovered some US$4 billion (RM16.8 billion) from Malaysian state companies have been misappropriated.
Swiss attorney-general Michael Lauber also expressed concern over his Malaysian counterpart’s decision to stop investigations into the funds transferred into Najib’s accounts, saying the move could hamper Switzerland’s own probe into 1MDB.
Apandi responded that the ongoing Swiss investigations into 1MDB were separate from the donation case.
But Pua said today that the link between 1MD and the donation must be investigated as there was “circumstantial evidence” surrounding the transaction.
“The sum of US$681 million deposited into the prime minister’s bank account (was) within five days after 1MDB successfully raised US$3 billion in bonds in March 2013,” said Pua.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) also reported that the money was transferred into Najib’s accounts through a company with links to 1MDB.
Tanore Finance Corp Limited transferred the funds through Falcon Private Bank in Singapore, a Swiss Bank owned by the International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) of Abu Dhabi, WSJ reported.
“IPIC and its subsidiary, Aabar Investments PJS have in turn entered into various financial and joint venture agreements with 1MDB and SRC International Sdn Bhd involving billions of dollars.
“No investigation over the source of funds of Najib’s multi-billion ringgit donations can be complete without investigating the overseas money trails of 1MDB, IPIC, Aabar, Tanore Finance and Falcon Bank,” said Pua.
Pua also urged Apandi to declare he would cooperate with the Swiss authorities and grant MACC’s request for MLA from foreign regulatory authorities. – January 31, 2016.
-The Malaysia Insider-