MACC must now investigate Lim Hwee Bin, Judy Chan, Leissner’s claims – C4 Center

Photo courtesy of klweb master/Flickr

PETALING JAYA, April 12 – Describing the conviction of Roger Ng, the former head of Goldman Sachs (Malaysia) for his role in the IMDB scandal a victory for justice and the Malaysian people, the Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) is now urging the local police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate claims made by Tim Leissner during the trial.

Leissner, the former boss of Ng at Goldman Sachs who pleaded guilty in 2018 for his role in the scandal, was the key witness at Ng’s trial at the Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York that convicted the latter on two counts of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and one count of conspiring to commit money laundering.

In a statement here today, C4 Center said Ng’s trial reiterated how 1MDB was defrauded as Goldman Sachs assisted 1MDB to raise US$6.5 billion through bond sales.

“Over US$4 billion of this money was secretly diverted to co-conspirators, including former Prime Minster Najib Razak and his stepson Riza Aziz, who combined, received almost US$1 billion;

“Ng himself received US$35 million for his role in the scheme. The FBI revealed that from this kickback, his wife, Lim Hwee Bin, spent US$300,000 (RM1.2 million) on diamond jewelry and US$20,000 (RM80,000) on a gold hourglass.”

Leissner’s shocking allegations during the trial included how US$1 billion was wired overnight from 1MDB to PetroSaudi International after Tawfiq Ayman, the husband of then Bank Negara governor Zeti Aziz, had received a bribe to make it happen.

He testified that former CEO of Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Rohana Rozhan, had blackmailed Leissner into buying her a US$10 million home in London and that former prime minister Najib Razak met with ex-Goldman chief Lloyd Blankfein in 2009 to discuss getting jobs for his three children.

Leissner also said he and Ng had concocted a scheme involving their wives to conceal kickbacks they received for helping to loot Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund.

He also said Jho Low informed him and Ng in 2012 that individuals in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, including Najib and Sheikh Mansour, could be bought, although the latter “wouldn’t get out of bed for anything less than US$100 million”.

“As Najib Razak’s trial culminates in his Federal Court appeal this year, it is imperative that justice continues to be served for the Malaysian people, ” C4 Center said, calling for an investigation into Leissner’s claims including those relating to Najib Razak, Tawfiq Ayman, and Zeti Aziz.

It urged for an immediate investigation into Lim Hwee Bin and Judy Chan, the wives of Roger Ng and Tim Leissner at the time of the 1MDB fraud, for their involvement in the 1MDB embezzlement scheme.

There must also be an immediate asset declaration of all Malaysian actors named by Leissner and involved in 1MDB, as Malaysians have a right to know how much money ended up in the pockets of those who stole from the national coffers, C4 said.

C4 Center said Ng’s conviction was a powerful reminder that no-one was above the law, and that the individuals involved in the theft of billions from the Malaysian people will be brought to justice.

It also called for a swift completion of Malaysian court cases involving SRC and 1MDB which have suffered too many delays and an immediate update on the police investigation into the whereabouts of Jho Low, the key player in the 1MDB scandal who has remained at large.

“The former IGP had given a deadline on the search but failed to meet it. The new IGP has been silent on the matter.”