Citing source, WSJ said bank accounts frozen in 1MDB-Najib probe different from report

The Wall Street Journal reported on July 7 that the bank accounts ordered frozen by Malaysian authorities probing the alleged money trail of US$700 million from 1MDB were different from the ones it mentioned in an earlier story. — Reuters pic
The Wall Street Journal reported on July 7 that the bank accounts ordered frozen by Malaysian authorities probing the alleged money trail of US$700 million from 1MDB were different from the ones it mentioned in an earlier story. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — The bank accounts that were ordered frozen by Malaysian authorities probing the alleged money trail of US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak are said to be different from that mentioned in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ)’s report last Friday.

In a report today, WSJ cited an unnamed individual close to investigations, who said the accounts in both instances were different.

The WSJ report did not state which of the six bank accounts that were ordered frozen yesterday were referred to by the individual.

The individual also said the authorities had moved to freeze the accounts getting information from the earlier government investigation that was revealed in the WSJ exposé last week, the WSJ reported today.

Malay Mail Online was unable to independently verify this at the time of writing.

In a report last Friday, the WSJ claimed that a money trail showed that US$700 million were moved between government agencies, banks and companies before it ended up in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s accounts.

The US daily claimed to have sighted documents from Malaysian investigators currently scrutinising the troubled 1MDB’s financials, adding that these were the basis of its report.

Today, WSJ also uploaded a batch of redacted documents that it said was from a “Malaysian government investigation” to back its report last week, but noted that these papers do not state the original money source or provide further details on the cash after it was allegedly transferred to Najib’s accounts.

The flowcharts and bank documents uploaded by WSJ relate to transactions in March 2013, December 2014 and February 2015 which purportedly ended up in Najib’s accounts in AmIslamic Bank.

A January 2014 letter on the power of attorney over three bank accounts under AmIslamic Bank Berhad — that WSJ said belonged to Najib — was also provided.

The letter on power of the attorney was authorised by an individual named Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil; WSJ had previously identified the man its report last week as a director at SRC International director.

The last few digits of the three bank accounts and other details were redacted in the documents WSJ uploaded onto the internet this evening.

Malay Mail Online was unable to independently verify their authenticity at the time of writing.

Earlier today, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said six bank accounts have been frozen and documents on 17 accounts from two banks have been seized.

He did not name the banks involved or identify the bank accounts frozen or their owners in his statement on behalf of a special taskforce probing the WSJ report.

The statement was also undersigned by Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohammed.

Najib has denied taking money for personal gain and categorised the allegations as “political sabotage”.

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