The Swiss attorney general’s office seems to be very frustrated. About 10 months ago in January, the Swiss authority revealed it suspected that about US$4 billion has been misappropriated from “Malaysian state companies.” The attorney general’s office also said they have discovered at least 4 cases involving allegations of criminal conduct between 2009 to 2013.
Back then, the Swiss attorney general’s office said it will formally ask Malaysian authorities for mutual assistance. Of course, the Switzerland government hadn’t a clue about the level of corruption in Malaysia. Nor they know how powerful Prime Minister Najib Razak is. The Swiss didn’t know that even 9 Sultans, Raja, Yamtuan Besar and even Agong (King) combined are powerless against Dictator Najib.
Ten months later today, the Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General finally realizes the Government of Malaysia hasn’t given their papers of request for assistance any thought at all. Clearly disappointed, the Swiss said their initial request to Malaysia is “still pending,” since they opened their investigation papers August last year.
Learning their lesson the hard way, Switzerland now understand why Malaysia is one of the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia, if not the most corrupt in Asia, overtaking China. But the Swiss authorities, although highly annoyed with Malaysian authorities who chose to sweep the case under the carpet, had widened its probe into the infamous 1MDB scandal.
Based on Switzerland’s internal investigation, most likely with assistance and collaboration with other countries who were also involved in the same probe – Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Australia, Hong Kong, U.S., UK and Luxembourg – it is revealed that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s 1MDB was using “Ponzi Scheme” to disguise itself in the fraud.
The Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber believes that US$800 million has been misappropriated from investments made by SRC International, a unit of Malaysia’s Finance Ministry that was a unit of 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd). Coincidently, PM Najib is the Finance Minister as well as the Chairman of 1MDB, although laughably, he has denied any wrongdoing.
“Firstly, the sum of $800 million appears to have been misappropriated from investments in natural resources made by the SRC sovereign fund. Secondly, it is suspected that a ‘Ponzi’ scheme fraud was committed to conceal the misappropriations from both the SRC fund and from 1MDB.” – said the Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General.
If proven, 1MDB will be the biggest “Ponzi Scheme” ever committed by a government and head of state. The Swiss also said 4 people and a bank were under investigation at the current stage of its criminal proceedings in connection to 1MDB and the former subsidiary SRC International. However, Malaysia is expected to drag its feet on Switzerland’s renew request for assistance.
Suddenly, it makes perfect sense as to why Najib’s second son – Nazifuddin – was accused of milking at least 38 billion baht (US$1.13 billion, £720 million, RM4 billion) last year after his alleged uFun Store was accused of having swindled 120,000 people in Thailand using the same method as his father – Ponzi Scheme. Obviously, the scheme works fabulously.
So far, only the U.S. prosecutors managed to send shivers down Najib Razak’s spine. When U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced on July 20, 2016 that the Justice Department filed lawsuits to seize assets that it said were the result of US$3.5 billion that was misappropriated from 1MDB, PM Najib almost fell off his chair, as proven by his chaotic damage control machinery.
Najib had always believed his family members were immune from any prosecution, let alone an embarrassing revelation from the U.S. Department of Justice that his stepson Riza Aziz was involved in stolen money, due to his self presumption that he was the only leader in the world who got to play golf with President Barack Obama. Obviously, he had overestimated himself.
Late last month, in his attempt to avoid American journalists, Mr. Najib had chosen to skip the United Nations 71st General Assembly in New York. Nevertheless, he couldn’t get away during his visit to Germany and when grilled by reporters, he said his government will provide U.S. and international authorities its fullest cooperation in their probe on 1MDB.
Based on today’s update from the Swiss authorities, however, it seems Najib has lied about extending cooperation to international authorities – with the exception of the U.S. authorities only. That’s because Riza Aziz (Najib’s stepson) has made United States the “base of his money laundering operation” – including investment on the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street”.
On top of that, the U.S. authorities have moved to seize assets including real estate in Beverly Hills, New York and London, artworks by Monet and Van Gogh, a Bombardier jet, and corporate ownership stakes – all belong to Riza Aziz and his partner-in-crime Jho Low. And it was the U.S.-DOJ who uses “Malaysian Official 1” puzzle to link PM Najib Razak.
In a catch-22 situation, Najib has unleashed his ministers to condemn the U.S.-DOJ for seizing assets allegedly bought using stolen money originated from 1MDB. Najib’s boys have been accusing the U.S. of interfering in the internal affairs of Malaysia. However, at the same time, Najib can’t afford to offend the U.S., the only country that could influence a regime change.
Therefore, whether Switzerland, or other countries involved in the 1MDB investigations, can pressure PM Najib Razak or otherwise, is depending on the U.S.’ willingness to slap criminal – not civil – lawsuit on Riza Aziz and Jho Low. It is also in the best interest of the United States not to breed a too-big-to-control corrupt leader, as can be seen in the form of Turkish President Recep Erdogan.
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