KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 ― Swiss banker-turned-whistleblower Xavier Andre Justo has said he is unsure if the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal would have been exposed had former employers Petrosaudi had paid him the money he was owed.
In an interview on Al-Jazeera’s 101 East programme this morning, Justo, who blew the lid open on the biggest kleptocracy case in the world because he was not paid 2.5 million Swiss francs (RM10.15 million) owed to him by Petrosaudi, was asked what he would have done if he had been recompensed.
“I don’t know, I just wanted to recover my money,” he said.
“That’s...that’s a beautiful question. If I want to make me a glorious guy I will tell you of course I would have given the data. I don’t know. You can’t go back in history,” he added.
Justo was a former executive director in Petrosaudi, the company form which billions of ringgit from 1MDB was siphoned through.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was the chairman of 1MDB’s advisory board when Barisan Nasional (BN) was in power.
Justo accused Najib’s government as being kleptocratic and accused them of trying to discredit him many times. If not for a royal amnesty from the Thai King, Justo would still be languishing in jail.
"You have no idea what it's like being in a Thai jail. I spent 18 months and they make my wife suffer for 18 months, they bankrupted us, they stole billions from poor people and just because I’m free I have to forget!” said Justo in the video.
“No! They have to pay, they have been using and abusing the system of justice, the police, just to cover up their scam and to keep their millions,” he told Al-Jazeera.
The Pakatan Harapan administration is seeking to recoup some of the stolen funds from 1MDB, much of which had been used to buy properties, expensive artworks or stashed in accounts all over the world.
Najib will go on trial on February 12 on charges linked to 1MDB and Justo explained how much a role Petrosaudi played in it.
“It’s very easy, you have the money you have the Petrosaudi name and you use these channels and bank accounts to,” explained Justo.
“Malaysia had money, they needed a front company, something that could appear very legal and they found this beautiful name Petrosaudi. It looks like it’s the official oil company of Saudi Arabia.
“That’s the only quality Petrosaudi had at the time and so the frame of the scam was established.”
Justo was paid US$2 million (RM8.1 million) by The Edge media group chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong last week for his help in exposing the wrongdoings at 1MDB.
The interview titled “Malaysia: The World’s Biggest Heist” premiered on Al Jazeera English at 6.30am today (February 8, 2019) on 101 East, and will be shown again later today at 5.30pm, tomorrow at at 11.30am, and Monday (February 11) at 12.30am and 1.30pm.