Govt seeks to bar Tarek Obaid, PetroSaudi from using over US$340mil linked to 1MDB

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 14 Jul 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is seeking to prohibit oil services and production company PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI) and its director Tarek Obaid from using more than US$340mil linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

In the notice of motion filed on July 10, the government said the money was related to an offence under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The application sought to bar US$340,258,246.87 deposited in a client's account at law firm Clyde & Co LLP as well as an unspecified amount of money deposited in an intermediate account name of Temple Fiduciary Services at Barclays Bank.

It named Tarek Obaid, PSI, PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Ltd, Clyde & Co LLP and Temple Fiduciary Services Ltd as the first, second, third, fourth and fifth respondents respectively.

Both the specified and unspecified monies belonged to PetroSaudi Oil Services, which was wholly owned by Tarek through PSI.

The application was supported by an affidavit affirmed by a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer, Mohd Afiq Ab Aziz.

In the affidavit, Afiq said he was one of the investigating officers responsible for the 1MDB probe and he had uncovered information that led him to reasonably believe and suspect that the assets being held or deposited abroad were proceeds from illegal activities, in the course of his duties.

He claimed that the US$340mil formed part of the subject matter or evidence in connection with the conspiracy to defraud or fraud which involved former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Tarek, fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho and other related individuals against 1MDB and its subsidiaries.

Afiq said Najib is currently facing multiple criminal charges including abuse of power and money laundering in relation to 1MDB.

He added that the application to block the monies is appropriate until such a time that the courts could definitively determine whether the monies rightfully belong to 1MDB.

The High Court has fixed Thursday (July 16) to hear the prosecution’s application for the order to prohibit the respondents from using the monies.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Budiman Lufti Mohamed and Muhammad Izzat Fauzan appeared for the prosecution during case management before deputy registrar Mahyudin Mohmad Som here on Tuesday (July 14).

Budiman told the press that once the order is granted, the prosecution will request mutual legal assistance from the courts in the United Kingdom to enforce the prohibition order.

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