China firm denies Exim Bank funds siphoned to offshore accounts

Putrajaya allegedly suspects cash intended for the projects was diverted through offshore shell companies and used to pay nearly US$700 million (RM2.8 billion) of 1MDB debt. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Putrajaya allegedly suspects cash intended for the projects was diverted through offshore shell companies and used to pay nearly US$700 million (RM2.8 billion) of 1MDB debt. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — A China-based company has refuted today media reports that funds for its pipeline projects here were siphoned, ostensibly to help pay debts owed by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Co Ltd (CPP) said the reports contained “blatantly false information”, and cautioned the media against being “influenced or pressured” by unnamed sources to report based on false information that allegedly defames the firm.

“We wish to make it very clear that all funds from Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank China) were only paid directly to CPP’s bank accounts.

“This is in accordance with the strict anti-money laundering banking rules, regulations, and signed legal agreements,” it said in a statement.

“There were absolutely no funds paid to any third-party Cayman Island-based company and/or companies whatsoever. Any allegations or statements to the contrary are completely false,” it added.

US-based Wall Street Journal had quoted two anonymous government officials saying Putrajaya suspects cash intended for the projects was diverted through offshore shell companies and used to pay nearly US$700 million (RM2.8 billion) of 1MDB debt.

It claimed Malaysian officials are focusing on a US$2.5 billion (RM10 billion) agreement signed in November 2016 to build a series of petrochemical and gas pipelines on Malaysia’s main peninsula and in the state of Sabah on Borneo island.

About 13 per cent of the pipeline project has been completed, but it is now on hold pending investigations.

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