Govt bids to bar PSI access to monies

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is seeking to prohibit PetroSaudi International (PSI) Ltd and its director Tarek Obaid from using the more than US$340mil (RM1.45bil) linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and stashed in a client’s account at a United Kingdom law firm.

In the notice of motion which was 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.

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

The application sought to bar a total of 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.

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

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

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

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

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

He said the application to block the monies was appropriate until such a time that the courts could definitively determine whether

the monies rightfully belonged to 1MDB. The High Court fixed tomorrow to hear the prosecution’s application. Deputy Public Prosecutors Budiman Lufti Mohamed and Muhammad Izzat Fauzan appeared for the prosecution during the case management before deputy registrar Mahyudin Mohmad Som yesterday.

Budiman told the press that once the order was granted, the prosecution would request a mutual legal assistance from the United Kingdom courts to enforce the order.

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