From the day the political perpetrators of 1MDB and countless other kleptocratic crimes executed their coup on February 28th 2020, restoring those stolen assets has represented barely more than an attempt to re-steal the money.
The leading lights of the post-PH governments were also the leading lights who presided over decades of graft by UMNO in Malaysia and who with few exceptions defended the lie that no money was stolen from 1MDB; that Jho Low had nothing to do with 1MDB and that Najib’s billions were a donation till the moment they were turfed from office.
Now that these grifters are back having overturned the election,, and doing their best to drop the cases against themselves no country should be returning a cent.
Malaysia is a country where a poor single mother of four children is turfed without mercy or delay into jail for over a year for stealing two packs of powdered milk to feed them, whilst a looting former prime minister and his grotesque wife dripping with gaudy overpriced luxuries have managed to put off their convictions for years – and then delay their sentences for further years.
No money can be sent to such a regime as it will merely disappear into the pockets of Najib’s allies and successors. Yet, there are several efforts underway to achieve just that if mired in their own conflicts and contradictions.
The most recent has emerged with news of freelance unofficial apparent negotiations between the disgraced former Attorney General, Apandi Ali (he who declared Najib to be ‘cleared’ and refused to accept there had been wrong-doing till the day he was sacked) and the fugitive Jho Low hiding in China.
A more unsuitable envoy for Malaysia’s leadership to have chosen for such a task would be hard to imagine – except to the extent that he represents them all perfectly as he did before. Jho’s stance will be as ever that there will be money (stolen money) in it for everybody who helps him get his way with the rest of the remaining loot.
Once again Britain and America’s legal establishment has drenched itself in shame in the process – the UK lawyer working at Kobre & Kim in Washington, Robin Rathmell, was reportedly present at the negotiations, charging fat fees for representing the fugitive from money admitted to be stolen from the Malaysian people (SR is submitting queries on the ethical issues to the Solicitors regulatory body, having received zero comment from K&K regarding its continuing representation of a self-acknowledged crook wanted by the Malaysian authorities).
These so-called negotiations are at an apparent impasse since Jho Low wants KL to drop its outstanding charges and Red Notice for his arrest so that he can travel to the US to obtain what he has managed to hold on to following his settlement, having admitted money laundering to the authorities in that country.
So, the former AG of a country that officially maintains it doesn’t know the whereabouts of this top fugitive from justice is now known to have met with the criminal on behalf of the Malaysian government to strike a deal. Instead of tipping off the police and having Jho arrested, Apandi was there to secretly talk money.
Clearly Apandi is seeking a deal that will enable ‘the authorities’ to get a chunk of Jho’s money in return for lifting those arrest warrants to allow the safe passage out of China.
We all know what happens when 1MDB’s stolen money is returned to Malaysia – its destination is made an official secret by the same government of people that enabled the original theft. No further comment necessary.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Report has kept a wary eye over past months on another attempt to slither frozen 1MDB cash through back channels into the UMNO den of thieves, this time the $2 billion that Jho and Najib stole through bogus pipeline contracts awarded to crony Chinese government controlled companies.
That money is now known to have ended up under seizure in Kuwait, after Sarawak Report exposed the money trail in 2020.
Intriguingly, a mutual series of abuses has resulted in the Malaysian money remaining locked up in the Kuwait branch of China’s ICBC bank. First, Malaysia and Kuwait exhibited mutual interest in keeping the antics of Najib’s proxy and the royal son of the then Kuwait prime minister under wraps. Both governments were corrupted.
Then the Malaysian UMNO government was overthrown and PH demanded the money back. However, until the SR reports in 2020 the counterparts to the scandal in Kuwait remained in power.
Following the exposes Kuwait removed the father of Jho Low’s money laundering co-conspirator from office and investigations began, resulting in offers by the Kuwaiti government to Malaysia during the course of 2020 to work together on the crime through mutual assistance protocols.
By that time, however, PH was out of office once more in Malaysia – and Najib’s friends were back in the driving seat. Zero cooperation was therefore forthcoming on the grounds, Sarawak Report understands, that to ask for two billion dollars of stolen Malaysian money back from Kuwait would constitute embarrassing proof of complicity by Najib (the man who claims innocence on all counts in the face of multiple convictions).
The reformed anti-money-laundering authorities in Kuwait were thus left as unanswered as their PH counterparts the previous year.
It is now rumoured that a segment of Malaysia’s Sabri-led government are seeking out their opportunity to grab back the frozen cash…. into the hands of the ‘authorities’. Elements of the current AG’s office are said to be blocking that move, given it would serve as a frank admission of Najib’s further guilt.
An online petition has been launched achieving an impressive 19 thousand signatures in Malaysia demanding the money be returned (shades of an UMNO round-up operation?).
Sarawak Report humbly suggests that Kuwait cooperate with the international investigation into 1MDB and with INTERPOL with regards to the $2 billion belonging to the Malaysian people.
It should freeze all the funds held in Sheikh Sabah’s ICBC accounts until Malaysia lifts its “official secret” status and reveals exactly what has happened to earlier public funds returned to this same guilty government that were stolen through 1MDB.