KUALA LUMPUR: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) cannot say or claim that money transferred from Aabar Investment PJS Ltd or Aabar BVI to Penang financier Jho Low, production firm Red Granite Pictures and Khadem Abdullah al-Qubaisi, belongs to it.
Khadem was chairman of Aabar Investment PJS Ltd. Analysing the recent allegation of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) that billions were stolen from the sovereign fund, blogger Lim Sian See said in his blog, LSS Report: “If money from here was stolen, then it was stolen from International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) and not 1MDB.
“When 1MDB signed the joint venture agreements with Aabar Investments PJS in Abu Dhabi, the discussions was with Khadem as the duly authorised chairman and managing director Mohamed Badawy Al-Husseiny.”
The DOJ recently filed a civil suit to recover assets derived from alleged misappropriation of 1MDB funds.
Lim also said as far as 1MDB is concerned, Aabar BVI is legitimate and owned by International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC).
“1MDB will end up losing billions, while Abu Dhabi’s IPIC will get away blameless.
“This despite both of IPIC’s most senior executives, its former Managing Director Khadem from 2007 to 2015 and Aabar PJS’s Managing Director Mohamed Badawy being named as part of the DOJ case and asset seizures,” he added.
He said what 1MDB will need to focus now is winning its arbitration case by proving that the two senior executives of Aabar and IPIC had acted with full authority of the board and all checks had shown that Aabar-BVI had legally belonged to both entities.
“1MDB believes it has enough evidence to win the case. It deliberately refused to pay for the scheduled interest payments on the bonds, despite having RM3 billion in the bank then, and allowed the two 1MDB bonds guaranteed by IPIC to default, thus triggering the guarantee by the latter, forcing it to pay up,”
He added that if 1MDB wins this case, then the US$4.5 billion in assets can be recovered from IPIC.
“If this is the case, it is likely that IPIC will take over the US$3.5 billion bonds and allow 1MDB to keep the US$1 billion which it had paid earlier.
“IPIC will then be the party responsible for reclaiming the US$4.5 assets in Aabar-BVI,” he said.
On the question of how much of the actual “wang rakyat” had really been lost so far due to the DOJ civil suit, he concluded, none so far.
“Since the amounts alleged “stolen” are from the loans that 1MDB took and are not due, no actual Malaysian money has been lost as yet.
“This is assuming that the IPIC dispute can be settled in 1MDB’s favour and the US$1.5 billion Global Investment Limited (GIL) bonds is redeemed,” Lim said.
He went on to say that it is also important to note that other than the US$3.5 billion bonds which are in dispute with IPIC, 1MDB has not defaulted on any loans or bonds.
“In fact, many loans have been completely repaid or settled,” he added.
Lim said if 1MDB manages to win the IPIS arbitration and also redeem the US$1.5 billion GIL funds, then it can truly say that none of its money was missing or stolen.
“This means that it is impossible for Jho Low, Red Granite, Khadem or anyone else for that matter to have stolen any money from 1MDB to buy or invest all those assets that the Federal Bureau of Investigation now wants to seize,” he added.
A more detailed analysis of the DOJ’s action can be viewed on Lim’s blog.