KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 ― PetroSaudi International  Ltd (PSI) and its director, Tarek Obaid, are seeking to amend an interim order obtained by the government to prohibit them from moving over US$340 million,  that is linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and kept in a client’s account at a United Kingdom’s law firm, to other entities.

PSI and Tarek filed the application to amend the interim order on July 24.

The case came up for case management before Deputy Registrar Mahyuddin Md Som in his chambers today  in the presence of Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan, who acted for the government, and lawyer Alex Tan, representing PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Limited (Incorporated in Barbados) (PSOS-VZ).

Mahyuddin then fixed hearing of the application on Aug 12 before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Last July 16,  Justice Mohd Nazlan allowed the government’s application for an interim order to block PSI and Tarek from moving over US$340 million to other entities until the disposal of the main application on  Aug 28.

The government had filed the application on July 10 seeking  for a prohibition order to restrain any dealings of the monies  amounting to US$340, 258,246.87 belonging to PSI and its subsidiary, PSOS-VZ held in Clyde & Co LLP.

The government is also seeking unspecified money that was deposited under an intermediate account name, Temple Fiduciary Services Limited, at Barclays Bank in the UK. Both the specified and unspecified monies belonged to PSOS-VZ, which was wholly owned by Tarek through PSI. 

The application, filed under Section 53 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA), named Tarek, PSI, PSOS-VZ, Clyde & Co and Temple Fiduciary as the first to the fifth respondent, respectively.

The prosecution filed the application, which was supported by an affidavit affirmed by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Mohd Afiq Ab Aziz.

Mohd Afiq said he was one of the investigating officers responsible for the 1MDB investigation and in the course of his duty, he had uncovered information that has led him to reasonably believe and suspect that the assets being held or deposited abroad were proceeds from illegal activities. 

He stated that he had reasonable grounds to believe that the monies amounting to US$340, 258,246.87 as at February 2019, currently held in the escrow account of Clyde & Co on behalf of PSOS-VZ, formed part of the subject matter  or evidence in connection with the conspiracy to defraud or fraud, involving former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Tarek, fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho with other related individuals against 1MDB and its subsidiaries. 

Mohd Afiq said the application under AMLATFPUAA to block the monies was appropriate until such a time that the court could definitively determine whether the monies rightfully belong to 1MDB. ― Bernama