KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — The High Court was today told that Petrosaudi International Ltd (PSI) director Tarek Obaid had absolute control over the company’s accounts and had purportedly caused some US$120 million from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and PSI joint venture company to be transferred into an escrow account.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Budiman Lutfi Mohamed in his submission said Obaid, at all material times, was the one who had ultimate control of the Petrosaudi accounts including the transfers of the funds, as he was the authorised signatory for these accounts.

“Obaid’s name was not only listed as the director and authorised signatory for these companies, but his name also appeared to be on its accounts beneficial owner identity.

“The averments made by one of the case investigating officers in his affidavit also asserted that Obaid had, and continue to have a firm control of all entities under Petrosaudi group of companies,” said Budiman.

Budiman is submitting on the government’s application to block Obaid, PSI and its subsidiary PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Ltd (PSOS-VZ) from using over US$340 million linked to 1MDB which was kept in an escrow account at a United Kingdom law firm, Clyde & Co before Judge Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh.

On July 16, 2020, the court granted the government’s application for an interim order to block the parties from moving the monies linked to 1MDB and kept it in a client’s account at a United Kingdom-based law firm.

The interim order is to maintain the status quo of the parties until the disposal of the government’s prohibition application to seek an order to restrain any dealings on the monies belonging to PSI and its subsidiary, PSOS-VZ which are currently in an escrow account held by Clyde & Co.

Besides the US$340 million, the government, in its application is also seeking unspecified money that was deposited under an intermediate account name, Temple Fiduciary Services Limited, at Barclays Bank in the UK.

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

The submission before Justice Ahmad Shahrir continues on Thursday. — Bernama