WSJ releases redacted documents online to back up its 1MDB-Najib money trail report

The Wall Street Journal on July 7, 2015 released flowcharts and bank documents relating to transactions in March 2013, December 2014 and February 2015 that purportedly ended up in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts. — Reuters pic
The Wall Street Journal on July 7, 2015 released flowcharts and bank documents relating to transactions in March 2013, December 2014 and February 2015 that purportedly ended up in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — As Malaysian authorities investigate a money trail implicating Datuk Seri Najib Razak, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) released today a batch of documents on the Internet that purportedly shows how nearly US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) was moved from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) into the prime minister’s personal bank accounts.

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

In the alleged 2013 transaction, a flowchart purportedly by Malaysian investigators showed British Virgin Islands company Tanore Finance Corp transferring US$620 million and US$61 million to an AmIslamic Bank account purportedly belonging to Najib on March 21 and March 25.

WSJ had previously described that time frame as a “heated” campaign period ahead of Malaysia’s May 5, 2013 general elections.

In the alleged 2014 fund transfers, the flowchart showed SRC International transferring RM40 million out of its AmIslamic Bank account to Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd where it was a majority stakeholder on December 24, which in turn transferred it to Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd’s Affin Bank account on the same day.

SRC International was formerly a 1MDB subsidiary that later came under the direct control of the Finance Ministry in 2012.

The document purports to show Ihsan Perdana later depositing RM27 million and RM5 million into an AmIslamic Bank under Najib’s name on December 26, 2014.

Another flowchart showed a transfer of RM10 million from SRC International through the same arrangement to Najib’s purported account in the same bank on February 10, 2015.

The bank remittance forms by Ihsan Perdana marked the fund transfers amounting to a total of RM42 million to Najib's purported accounts as being meant for “CSR programmes” or corporate social responsibility purposes.

All three flowcharts were accompanied either by scanned copies of remittance transaction slips or completed remittance forms for the fund transfers.

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 January 20, 2014 letter to AmIslamic Bank Berhad was signed by an individual named Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil whom WSJ had previously identified in its report last week as a director at SRC International.

But the last few digits of the three bank accounts were redacted, along with other details in the documents uploaded by WSJ.

Malay Mail Online was unable to independently verify the authenticity of these documents 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, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said on behalf of a special taskforce probing the WSJ report, 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.

Those who also signed the joint statement are 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.

On Saturday, Gani confirmed that the special taskforce was already investigating the claim published by the WSJ, and that raids were conducted on three companies implicated in the report – SRC International, Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd and Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd.

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

The prime minister was expected to file a suit against WSJ today, but Malay Mail Online understands he has yet to do so.

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