‘US$346mil luxury goods linked to 1MDB, SRC scandal’

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 Mei -- Isteri kepada bekas Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (tengah) hadir bagi mengikuti prosiding sambung bicara kes penyelewengan dana 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) yang dihadapi Najib di Mahkamah Tinggi hari ini. --fotoBERNAMA (2024) HAK CIPTA TERPELIHARA

KUALA LUMPUR: A massive collection of jewellery, handbags and other luxury goods had been amassed from 48 different vendors in at least 14 countries using monies from 1Malaysia Development Bhd and SRC International Sdn Bhd totalling US$346mil, according to papers filed at the High Court.

The worldwide locations of the 48 vendors include the British Virgin Islands (one), Hong Kong (nine), India (four), Indonesia (two), Italy (three), Lebanon (three), Mauritius (one), Panama (one), Singapore (one), Thailand (two), United Arab Emirates (seven), Turkiye (two), the United Kingdom (two) and the United States (seven).

1MDB, SRC and four subsidiaries laid the claims in a statement of claim filed against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and another individual last week. The papers were filed via Messrs Lim Chee Wee Partnership.

In the statement of claim, the plaintiffs alleged that eight entities that were registered offshore had made 320 purchases of luxury goods with funds amounting to US$346,010,489 between 2010 and 2014.

The luxury items were received by Rosmah, they claimed.

“These payments are traceable to and represent the monies misappropriated from 1MDB, its four subsidiaries and SRC International, that is, the funds misappropriated between 2010 and 2014,” the plaintiffs claimed.

The four 1MDB subsidiaries are 1MDB Energy Holdings Ltd, 1MDB Energy Ltd, 1MDB Energy (Langat) Ltd and Global Diversified Investment Company Ltd, formerly known as 1MDB Global Investments Ltd.

The companies claimed that monies to fund the purchases came from 1MDB and SRC, which were fraudulently transferred out to entities registered in offshore jurisdictions and had no connection with or served no legitimate purpose with regard to investment objectives by the companies.

“These entities, as well as the transactions between them involving the fund, served no legitimate commercial purpose other than to act as a conduit for the onward movement and diversion of the funds to obscure final destinations,” according to the court papers.

On May 9, 1MDB, SRC, and nine others (including the four 1MDB subsidiaries) filed a writ of summons against Rosmah, seeking US$346mil belonging to them.

The plaintiffs claimed that Rosmah, the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had used the funds from the companies to purchase luxury items such as jewellery, watches and handbags.

Apart from 1MDB, SRC, and the four companies, the other plaintiffs are Affinity Equity International Partners Ltd, Alsen Chance Holdings Ltd, Blackrock Commodities (Global) Ltd, Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Ltd and Brightstone Jewellery Ltd.

The plaintiffs named Rosmah as the first defendant and Shabnam Naraindas Daswani (also known as Natasha Mirpuri) as the second defendant.

They claim that Shabnam, who is a fashion designer based in Singapore, had purchased or procured the luxury items on behalf of Rosmah.

The plaintiffs claim that funds from 1MDB and its subsidiaries were channelled to various offshore entities – including Affinity Equity, Alsen Chance, Blackrock Commodities, Blackstone Asia and Brightstone Jewellery – before being paid out to 48 different vendors based in 14 jurisdictions for the luxury goods.

They further claimed the goods sought were “traceable substitutes” of 1MDB and its subsidiaries’ trust property, thus the plaintiffs have an equitable proprietary interest in the luxury goods.

They are seeking a court declaration that they have equitable proprietary interest in the goods and traceable proceeds in the hands of Rosmah, as well as an order for Rosmah to pay the first until the sixth plaintiffs a sum of US$346mil.

The High Court had ordered the plaintiffs to file the statement of claim this month to support the writ of summons.

Rosmah has been directed to file her defence to the suit by July 4.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers are in the process of serving the court papers on Shabnam, who resides in Singapore.

Case management has been fixed on June 14 via Zoom.

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