Malaysia: The World's Biggest Heist | 101 East

it’s been branded the world’s biggest heist at least four point five billion dollars stolen from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund 1mdb the former Prime Minister Najib Razak faces almost 40 criminal charges and the Malaysian financier Jo lo is won by authorities in Malaysia Singapore and the United States I’m Steve Chow on this episode of 101 East we investigate the deals and alleged criminal cover-ups there Rob Malaysians of billions of dollars and track down the accidental hero who blew the whistle it’s been a massive fall for Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak al stood from power in May last year he’s banned from leaving the country and his family homes have been raided police seizing 270 million dollars worth of cash and luxury goods did included a lot of gifts it was a not fair you know to parade and to put a value on these things as far as I’m concerned I was not doing anything wrong but as Najib Razak faces mounting charges a nemesis from the past slips into the capital Kuala Lumpur my name is Xavier Andre just 52 years old the Swiss national and former banker turned businessman is regarded as a hero in what’s being dubbed the new Malaysia today xavier justo is a keynote speaker at an anti-corruption summit he provided the crucial evidence exposing the alleged scam that saw more than 4.5 billion dollars siphoned out of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund 1mdb acting against criminals can be very dangerous they will do anything to keep the money they have no limits and a witness they took everything from us I spent 18 months in jail they made my wife suffer 18 months they bankrupted us they stole billions from poor people and just because I’m free I have to forget no they have to pay at home in Switzerland the shore of Lake Geneva offers the serenity Xavier in his wife Laura crave the past three and a half years have been tumultuous as the couple found themselves embroiled in Malaysia’s financial scandal their nightmare began in 2015 when they were living in Thailand and building a resort Laura was visiting family in Switzerland with the 8 month old son when the Thai police arrested her husband she told me don’t worry I mean I mean she’ll don’t worry he said look it’s just a matter of time but at the second I knew he was arrested I knew it was because of petrol Saudi and I could feel it was gonna be bigger than then what it was petrol Saudi is a company at the heart of Malaysia’s stolen billions in 2009 it entered into a 1.8 billion dollar joint venture with 1mdb the deal was struck on a mega yacht in the Mediterranean on board the now fugitive Malaysian financier an alleged mastermind Jolo then Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rose Maha and the hosts pet Rosati co-founders Prince Turkey a son of the late king of Saudi Arabia and Tareq obeyed at the time to reco bade was one of Xavier’s best friends February 2010 Tareq Abboud contacted me a couple of times to take care of the petrol Saudi London’s office because they signed a deal with the Malaysian and they had money and they needed tarik needed a guide that he could trust to render to run the company Xavier went to work with Tareq evade and another director Patrick Mahoney but seven months into the job he says things started to sour it said that if you

receive a lot of money you become crazy that’s a fact I saw that direct started with buying a flat after he bought a house renting yields in the South of France it’s probably alpha million euros a week everything it becomes like extravaganza so he started to treat me likely start he was treating other people very bad Xavier resigned in April 2011 he says he was owed 2.5 million dollars and to ensure he be paid he had more than 200 thousand confidential emails downloaded from the company server onto a hard drive again there were a lot of money involved at that time nobody had access to the financial data of Petrocelli 1mdb so what did this as as a as a guarantee three years later he says he still hadn’t been paid so he began looking for a potential buyer for the data British journalist Claire rucastle Brown had already been investigating suspected corruption behind 1mdb what at first caught my eye was the fact that the young son a stepson of the Prime Minister of Malaysia had been touted as the producer of one of Hollywood’s most expensive movies Reiser Aziz is the stepson of Najib Razak and one of the producers of the 2013 one hundred million dollar Hollywood blockbuster wolf of Wall Street he was claiming he’d put his own money in and there was really no there was no money behind Reiser so where was this money coming from and looking into it deeper I had very quickly ascertained that at Rize side there was this young financier Joe Lowe who was connected to 1mdb as the advisor so what I was asking was a very simple question to begin with were the missing billions that no one could account for that had disappeared from 1mdb were they in any way linked to the tens of millions that suddenly the stepson of the Prime Minister was able to invest in this film about theft and largesse her search for answers led her to a meeting with Xavier in mid-2014 I went to Bangkok and I met this strange man in the middle of Bangkok who someone had warned me might be a Russian mafiosi she was scared and I was scared I didn’t know who she was she didn’t know where I was but it turned out luckily that my hunch was correct and it was a former director of Petro Soddy none other than Xavi a he explained how he gradually had begun to realize there was something very troubling about this joint venture with 1mdb he started to show me some of his emails that he had from this database the 1mdb Petra Saudi deal was struck on the yacht required Malaysia to initially invest 1 billion dollars in the joint venture and petrol Saudi to contribute energy concessions valued at almost three billion dollars it’s very easy inhalation ad money what they did they needed a front company something that could appear very legal and they found this very beautiful name Petra Saudi it looks like it’s the official oil company of Saudi Arabia that’s the only quality that Petra’s are the other data this beautiful name so the frame of the scam was established the emails showed those billions of dollars worth of petrol Saudi energy concessions had been hugely and fraudulently overvalued something xaviar always suspected and now believed was crucial to the alleged criminal scam in 2009 Patrick and Patrick Mahoney and Terry Kuwait asked me if I knew a company or a guy that could evaluate petrol Saudi for two billions I said no way I’m not going to ask a guy to evaluate a company that is worth pretty much nothing for two billions but it seems Mahoney and obeyed got what they wanted by restricting the work of the evaluator his core of work is to evaluate the number of assets not look at the owner of the title so he just evaluating something is not saying that

this is Petra Saudi they’re giving three billions of asset that is not that is not belonging to Petra Saudi that’s Kim and xavius cache of documents revealed even more fraudulent activity he was flicking through very quickly and there was there was one sort of bank transfer notice I I caught my eye I said to him can we go back and look at that because there was a seven an awful lot of zeroes I’m assuming it was the $700,000 transfer but actually was there as an extra three zeros on that was it a seven hundred million dollar transfer and he said yo yo it was seven hundred million the data clearly showed that only 300 million of Malaysia’s 1 billion dollar cash investment made it into the joint venture account seven hundred million went to a Swiss bank account controlled by none other than Joel oh you should have all the red flags like lighting they make the money go through the account and once it’s in the Swiss account it’s longer according to the data tens of millions then allegedly flowed from there – Tareq obeyed and onto Prince Turkey and Patrick Mahoney and unknown to the world back then also as the US Department of Justice alleges into malaysia’s then Prime Minister Najib Razak personal bank account they can do whatever they want that’s that’s it as simple as that you have the money you have the petrol Saudi name you use the channels the bank accounts and that’s it when I saw that enormous number being transferred to a company that belonged to Jolo that it was an offshore instrument belonging to jolo that was when I knew I had a earth-shattering story but davia wanted 2.5 million dollars before he’d give her the data I’m not sending this to the AIA back bidder this is worth a lot of money I just want to recover my money that’s it I knew this was the story I couldn’t just turn away from just because I didn’t have a few million dollars in the end one of Southeast Asia’s biggest media financial groups got in touch and told me that they wanted to speak to us and would be interested in buying savvy a story in February 2015 a deal was done Xavier was promised two million dollars by the media conglomerate Andrew Castle Brown left with a copy of the data a few days later she published her first story heist of the century four months later Xavier was jailed in Thailand on a charge of attempted blackmail against Petro Saudi it was a terrible shock and there were some very very terrifying pictures I mean he’s surrounded by heavily armed guys he was in handcuffs he was being he was being paraded for the Malaysian media so therefore you could see that there was conspiracy here at the highest levels back in Malaysia then Prime Minister Najib Razak was facing a leadership crisis as he tried to explain 1mdb s mind-boggling 15 billion dollar debt Xavier’s arrest was the start of a relentless campaign to discredit the former insider Petro Saudi announced it was a victim of a crime by an unscrupulous ex-employee and hide a data security expert who then discredited Reucassel Brown he stated to the world media that I had forged the data and that I had doctored it and that there was you know that I was lying and it was outrageous that these things were being said so I knew something incredibly odd was going on at a very high level and clearly hugely funded and things would become even more odd just as Xavier was about to go into court to apply for bail the Chief of Police can say I’m going to introduce you to somebody Scotland Yard Wow okay the door open and there is an English guy how important for Scotland Yard is an international investigation it’s between UK between Malaysia and Thailand you have not seen anything wrong but we need you to cooperate with us you have to plead guilty otherwise you go to prison I’m not going to prison I’m not going to plead guilty of things I haven’t done and that’s ridiculous

xaviar was denied bail and jailed what he didn’t know at the time was the englishman the so called Paul Scott was not a Scotland Yard officer but instead a security consultant employed by petrol Saudi who seemingly had influence over Thai authorities I couldn’t speak to him it’s no one could give me some news even where he was thousands of kilometres away in Switzerland Laura turned to Clare rucastle Brown for help we sat down and I you know and together I wrote the real story against what was being poured out against him in in Malaysia and we we published that but then came a phone call for Laura from the so called Paul Scott he was with Xavier calling from the prison in Thailand to tell her Scotland Yard was on the case Laura told me yes there there saying all that Sevilla needs to do is to cooperate with the strategy of these Scotland Yard detectives admit to a little crime receive a slap on the wrist and at this point I’m beginning to think why is the Scotland Yard detective asking savvier to admit to something and Laura said well I don’t know but we have to put our trust in it in the hands because Xavi is telling me I have to cooperate in prison in Bangkok Xavier was cooperating meeting the so called Paul Scott and Patrick Maloney regularly xaviar says paul dictated a confession it cleared petrol salary in 1mdb of any wrongdoing and implicated rucastle brown in a plot to bring down Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak I would have confessed whatever they wanted you have no idea what is a Thai jail you have to leave that to understand I mean I wanted to go home want to be with my wife and with my son obeying directions Xavier was marched out for a few carefully selected media interviews a paper closely aligned with Malaysia’s then ruling party was first up if you read the interviews it’s the same structure I stole the data I’m a bad guy I’m a greedy guy I know that the data have been manipulated I work with journalists bloggers in coordination with the opposition well more to the point he said Clare’s tampered with the data well you know that’s one of those moments I knew I hadn’t I knew he knew I hadn’t so I knew exactly what was going on I’d taken my own sort of journalistic route to establish by that time that there was no official Scotland Yard investigation even though the Thai police was saying that they had British Scotland Yard detectives working with them on the case in Bangkok I’ve realised that we were talking about an extraordinary conspiracy the most audacious conspiracy the 1mdb scandal was escalating rapidly for Najib Razak news breaking around the world that almost 700 million dollars had been deposited into his personal bank account just as the Attorney General was reportedly preparing to charge him with misappropriating 1mdb funds the Prime Minister sacked him from the position it was not merely because charges were about to be leveled at me I had not been fully interviewed and if charges were level before full investigation that’s not proper in August 2015 under enormous pressure xaviar justo pleaded guilty ensuring he’d be locked away until after Malaysia’s next general election I remember it was 8:00 in the morning and he said I’m sorry alright it’s three years I couldn’t believe I just faked it I was angry I was I was being played I was being forced to do things I didn’t want to my husband was alone and desperate I had my son no it was honestly I think it it was one of the of the worst time

of my life yeah but Laura didn’t cut ties with Petro Saudi she says they were now promising an early release for her husband that she called me and he was I mean shocked but you know it’s we had to do that for the press for the show don’t worry you will celebrate Christmas where your son with her husband and know this that’s the point where I said no I have to have a back-up plan yeah and so it cooperates but at the same time I was making sure that everything was recorded to make sure that if one day I could prove when they had done Laura says Patrick Mahoney pressured her to download an application on her phone so she could record conversations with Clair rucastle Braun that could then be used to incriminate the journalist actually I managed to record them thanks to their stupidity in a way because they forgot that every time they would call me it would have it recorded them many of the recordings are now evidence for criminal complaints the couple have filed in Switzerland and the United Kingdom and have also been shared with other authorities including the FBI the Prime Minister of Malaysia was often the subject of discussion so this is Patrick Mahoney and me he’s saying that everyone is isn’t a lot of troubles and the Prime Minister of Malaysia basically is in let’s see a lot a lot of troubles because of what service did Romania crisper the Democrat Party the team player succeed similar travel Madonna media no mo paper on it which I did not say that he just mostly to lee jong-kul proposal we just fantastic to some laura plays another recording where Patrick Mahoney tells her he’s going to be sent the list of questions the Malaysian police will ask Xavier when they interview him in prison quality reservoir lake astronomers are tomorrow mr. Eden Erin if he becomes a meteorologist Jones but by its dominant more indication you can see the access he has to prison because Paul is going to be sent to Sevilla a few days before this interview with the Malaysian police to prepare him he then tells Laura that a husband must stick to the story they’re been telling credible crying a 40-minute a sofa not such a suspiciously finally 18 months after his arrest Xavier was released not because of petrol Saudi but rather a royal amnesty from the Thai king you’re a free man expelled from the contrabass as a free man so you have no idea the feeling just to hear him and was not from the prison was free it was a free call it’s amazing really the lives finished and we started the fight for the truth so it was end of a chapter every bad one you can say and it was the beginning of a new one as a Viren laura rebuild their lives at least six countries around the world are investigating 1mdb linked corruption and charges are being laid two unnamed petrol Saudi officials are under investigation in Switzerland for fraud money laundering and bribery of foreign officials to reco bade and the so called Paul Scott whose real name is Paul Finnegan didn’t respond to the allegations put forward by 101 east through his lawyers Patrick Mahoney denies all allegations made against him and any wrongdoing neither petrol Saudis headquarters nor former co-owner Prince Turkey responded to our attempts to contact them through his media advisor Joel o declined to be interviewed I do think they regret it they know how bad

they are and the Najib regime discretly government has been expected and everything thanks to the data that I gave recently Xavier received two million dollars from the Malaysian media conglomerate but one wonders if the petrol Saudi directors had paid Savior the money he says he was owned whether the world’s biggest heist would have ever been exposed I don’t know that’s that’s a beautiful question if I want to to make me a glorious guy I will tell you of course I would have given the data I don’t know you can’t go back in history you