Date
27 July 2017
Prime Minister Najib Razak has denied any wrongdoing or taking money for personal gain. Photo: Reuters
Prime Minister Najib Razak has denied any wrongdoing or taking money for personal gain. Photo: Reuters

Abu Dhabi contradicts 1MDB on payment claims

An Abu Dhabi state fund said it hadn’t received billions of dollars in payments that a Malaysian fund set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak claims it sent.

Earlier media reports said 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, had sent money to a company called “Aabar Investments PJS Ltd.”

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, the International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC), an Abu Dhabi government fund, said it has a subsidiary called Aabar Investments PJS, but that the similarly named company “was not an entity within either corporate group”, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The payments owed by 1MDB came under the terms of a 2012 agreement with IPIC, the newspaper said.

In that agreement, IPIC guaranteed 1MDB bonds valued at US$3.5 billion and, in return, the Malaysian fund was to make collateral and other payments to Aabar, IPIC’s subsidiary.

The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter and bank transfer documents, earlier reported how the 1MDB fund sent US$2.4 billion to the imitation Aabar, which was set up in the British Virgin Islands and later closed.

A report released last week by a Malaysian parliamentary committee inquiry into 1MDB, which is the subject of corruption probes in at least seven countries, put the amount transferred to the imitation Aabar at US$3.5 billion.

About US$681 million of this money later flowed into the private account of Prime Minister Najib, the Journal has also reported, citing people familiar with the investigations.

Najib has denied wrongdoing or taking money for personal gain.

Malaysia’s attorney general said the money that entered his account was a legal donation from Saudi Arabia’s royal family and cleared Najib of wrongdoing. Most of the money was returned.

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RA/CG

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