In March 2013, a young Malaysian financier sent a heads-up to an employee at a Kuala Lumpur bank that “681 American pies” would soon be arriving from overseas.
The sender, Jho Low (left), emphasized the need for secrecy, according to a transcript of BlackBerry instant messages reviewed by WSJ. The employee, he wrote, should tell the bank’s chief executive that “PM” didn’t want his name, address or identity-card number to appear on the transaction.
Within days, $681 million arrived in two transfers at AmBank Bhd. to be deposited in the personal account of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, according to documents seen by WSJ.
Global investigators believe those transfers represent a portion of the money diverted from 1MDB. As they dig deeper, investigators have increased their estimates of siphoned funds to as much as $6 billion, a sharp increase from a few months ago, said a person familiar with one country’s probe.
Low is a member of Najib’s inner circle, a family friend, according to people who know the prime minister. At several pivotal moments, Low’s actions, influence and connections had been vital to the alleged diversion of 1MDB funds, a WSJ examination found.
Investigators described Low as playing a central role, with the prime minister his “enabler,” according to the people familiar with probes in two countries. In addition, according to these people and to investigative documents, Low himself was the recipient of 1MDB funds, with control over hundreds of millions of dollars.
Of course, Low has denied any wrongdoing. So has Najib!
There is no end in sight to the 1MDB saga! It looks like a never-ending story.
A collection of photos of David Hughes and friends in Malaysia when the former is visiting Malaysia:
@ The Morning After, Jaya One, PJ
@ Home & Away, Jalan PJU 8/1, Bandar Damansara Perdana, PJ
@ Shisha Lounge Restaurant, Solaris Mont Kiara, No. 2, Jalan Solaris, KL
@ Jarrod & Rawlins in Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar, KL