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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

SON OF SLAIN BANKER VINDICATED: AS AMBANK TOP GUNS EXPOSED OVER NAJIB’S A/CS, HUSSAIN NAJADI’S MURDER STARTS TO MAKE SENSE

SON OF SLAIN BANKER VINDICATED: AS AMBANK TOP GUNS EXPOSED OVER NAJIB’S A/CS, HUSSAIN NAJADI’S MURDER STARTS TO MAKE SENSE
Politics | September 7, 2016 by | 0 Comments
Cheah Tek Kuang senior AmBank exec and adviser to chairman, handled account personally
The following are from the latest Wall Street Journal story. Please click on the link:
Here is that Wall Street Journal story, snippet form :
Behind the 1MDB Scandal: Banks That Missed Clues and Bowed to Pressure
ringleaders cultivated finance executives, compliance officers, secrecy
By Tom Wright and Bradley Hope
Sept. 5, 2016
Jho Low at center of largest-ever financial scandal
stream of messages to an official at AmBank
Low obsessed how Ambank handled accounts of Najib
Don’t let people know about the accounts, he instructed.
Use Gmail, not bank’s email system, for communication.
Whatever you do, don’t send credit-card statements to PM’s house.
“No no no,” Low wrote, according BlackBerry messages reviewed by WSJ
“Super sensitive.”
had someone collect the statements by hand.
2009 – 2013 Low and associates embezzle US$3.5 b from 1MDB
couldn’t have happened without cooperation of bankers, regulators
Low and cohorts for years eluded detection by at least eight banks
Low employed trickery, offshore shell companies, misleading names
identifying money transfers as “gifts” putting money into art and real estate to conceal origins cohorts inside and outside 1MDB pressured compliance officers got help from people inside governments
Investigators in seven countries trying to figure out what happened to money
Bank-transfer records show large sums in Najib’s accounts at AmBank
US$1b purchase luxury real estate, Hollywood movie,
U.S. seize assets and criminal investigation of those involved
plot began after Najib founded 1MDB in mid-2009.
Aug 2009, Najib, Jho Low, met in France with Turki bin Abdullah al Saud
1MDB signed a JV with PetroSaudi for US$1 billion.
only US$300m reached JV
1MDB officials ordered US$700m to Good Star owned by Jho Low
Later, 1MDB sent another US$330m to Good Star.
Deutsche Bank asked questions about Good Star
1MDB’s ED told Deutsche Bank to push through payment or face blame ED was Casey Tang.
Bank Negara added its imprimatur (gave permission), according to DOJ Tang couldn’t be reached for comment.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment.
EY asked questions about the Saudi JV
EY declined to sign off 1MDB’s accounts 2010
Najib, who headed 1MDB’s board fired EYnew auditor, KPMG, raised questions later, he fired KPMG too
Ernst & Young and KPMG declined to comment.
2011, Good Star sent US$24.5m to Riyadh account held by Turki
Turki sent US$20m to Najib’s accounts at AmBank
first of a flood of US$1b into Najib’s bank accounts over two years
Nearly all originated with 1MDB according to transfer records.
Najib gave Jho Low access to accounts
primary contact at AmBank was Joanna Yu
Cheah Tek Kuang senior AmBank exec and adviser to chairman, handled account personally
Low messaged if Zeti raised concerns, Cheah to let her know this is boss request
AmBank spokesman declined to comment
Ms. Yu and Mr. Cheah didn’t respond to requests for comment.
JhoLow sent hampers of food to Ms. Yu
lunched with her at noodle shops
He kept reinforcing the need for secrecy:
“v v important no one should know in ambank besides u or cheah
or get hold of statement,” one message said.
“Cause if it gets on internet where funds were from then headache.”
Investigators believe Low’s entourage created letters vouching for origin of funds
letter dated Feb. 1, 2011, reviewed by Journal, said Najib given US$100m
reward for M’sia’s “good work to promote Islam around the world.”
AmBank’s Cheah sent the letter to the central bank.
More letters, using nearly identical language, describing gifts of hundreds of millions
March 2013, transfer of US$681m arrived
AmBank’s Ms. Yu messaged Jho Low for more documentation
new letter, March 1, 2013, vouched for US$800m donation from same Saudi
(My comments : Please note that Hussein Najadi who used to work at AmBank in the 1980s was shot and killed in July 2013. His son Pascal claims that his father – who had many friends and contacts at AmBank – was murdered because he knew that high level corruption was going on).
Ms. Yu and Jho Low discussed how to transfer money.
discussed whether Wells Fargo or J.P. Morgan Chase
“Can do JP, but may raise ques too…suspect better keep to wachovia,” Ms. Yu
“Okay, wachovia then,” Jho Lo replied, transfer through Wells Fargo unit.
J.P. Morgan, Citigroup acted as correspondent banks
Under U.S. law, banks required to implement anti-money-laundering
knowing source, recipient of funds, to report suspicious transactions.
Wells Fargo, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan declined to comment.
After election, Najib closed account at AmBank and sent US$620m back
1MDB meanwhile in trouble as money flowed out and no revenue
2012, Goldman Sachs sold US$3.5b in 1MDB bonds
Goldman earned hundreds of millions in fees on the bonds
half money sent into offshore shell companies overseen by Jho Low
IPIC told auditors sending US$1.4b as “refundable deposit.”
The money never arrived.
diverted to company with similar name in BVI controlled by Qubaisi
>US$1b went into StanChart S’pore controlled by JhoLow
In July, MAS found StanChart failed to report suspicious transactions
StanChart said they are cooperating. . Citigroup declined to comment.
Qubaisi got US$470m, US$100m used to buy properties
funnelled US$238m 1MDB money to Riza Aziz
Aziz used money to buy real estate and fund Red Granite Pictures
1MDB approached Goldman again in 2013 to sell $3 billion of bonds
money be deposited in account at BSI AG
1MDB had around 100 accounts at BSI, Swiss regulators say.
Jho Low, opened 18 accounts in BSI S’pore in one day in Oct 2014.
100s millions 1MDB money moved through accounts controlled by Jho Low
Jho Low’s main contact at BSI was Yak Yew Chee
Singapore prosecutors investigate Yak for criminal offenses
BSI banker, Yeo Jiawei, charged in S’pore with 1MDB money laundering
half Goldman bond proceeds wound up with Eric Tan, associate of Jho Low
used money to buy >US$100m art
Tan transferred ownership of art to Jho Low
Christie’s stopped doing business with Jho Low, under investigation.
2014, Jho Low valued his art collection at US$350m
searching for one that wouldn’t follow know-your-customer rules too closely.
“Speed most important, fairly quick and relaxed kyc process,” JhoLow wrote.
Sotheby’s agreed to lend $107 million to Cayman company owned by Jho Low
Sotheby’s cooperating with government investigations.
spokeswoman said: “Sotheby’s fell victim to ‘complex web of transactions’
designed to hide and disguise the alleged illegal source of funds.”
After 2013 election 1MDB had US$20m in cash and > US$10b in liabilities
having trouble making interest payments, board minutes show.
2013 Najib opened 3 accounts, caught attention of AmBank CEO Ashok Ramamurthy
(My comments : Please note that Hussein Najadi who used to work at AmBank in the 1980s was shot and killed in July 2013. His son Pascal claims that his father – who had many friends and contacts at AmBank – was murdered because he knew that high level corruption was going on).
2014 Najib, Rosmah visited Sardinia
used credit card to buy jewelry worth €750,000, bank records show
few months later Najib, Rosmah drew US$130k in Chanel store in Honolulu
Ms. Yu messaged JhoLow: “We can’t maintain accounts…
Ashok reporting status at monthly board meeting.”
“They shouldn’t disclose contents of account. Later leak,” JhoLow replied.
Cheah Tek Kuang had resigned.
“It’s difficult as Cheah no longer around,” Ms. Yu messaged urging JhoLow to close the accounts. He replied Najib wanted to keep them open. All three were eventually closed in March 2015.
Najib wrote > 500 checks totaling US$400m from 1MDB-funded accounts At one point Najib’s account short of funds, prompting fear of bounced check Low arranged > US$4 million cash deposited at AmBank
Last summer, Ghani Patail drew up arrest warrant for Najib
Najib fired him and appointed new AG
new AG declined to open criminal case against 1MDB
Al Qubaisi arrested
JhoLow’s whereabouts unknown.
Singapore revoked BSI’s banking license
Switzerland’s opened criminal proceedings against BSI.
DOJ looking into whether Goldman Sachs violated U.S. law
Conclusion : The Wall Street Journal says that “Cheah Tek Kuang senior AmBank exec and adviser to chairman, handled account personally” . The Journal is referring to Najib’s accounts with all those millions and billions flowing through them.
Cheah Teck Kuang was perhaps the longest serving Managing Director of the Arab Malaysian Banking Group.
FYI, I served a short stint as an Assistant General Manager at Arab Malaysian Merchant Bank in 1997. Cheah Tek Kuang was already the Managing Director. Here is a picture.

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