KUALA LUMPUR: This is how the 1MDB money trail can be traced from Malaysia to Kuwait and to the small Islamic bank in Mauritius.
Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report says two men with links to businessman Jho Low, launched a bid to buy a controlling stake in a bank in Mauritius.
The bank is the Qatari-owned Century Banking Corp but the deal was blocked by Mauritius regulators.
Jho Low’s real name is Low Taek Jho and he is a main actor in the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia.
The problem with the deal in Mauritius is that it took place well after the U.S. Justice Dept or DOJ alleged that Low helped divert billions from 1MDB.
Low bestie Tim Leissner, already flagged in Singapore and banned to do business in the Island state, was in Mauritius to push the deal.
RED FLAG ON MAURITIUS
The Mauritian authorities did nothing to avert the international money laundering busters. They did business with him, instead.
Leissner worked with Thai businessman Phengphian Laogumnerd, a friend of Low’s, to buy Century Banking Corp in late 2016.
This raises a red flag about the Mauritian authorities and their filtering process.
Phengphian Laogumnerd is a friend of Jho Low. The Mauritius authorities may not have known that. But Leissner?
At that time, Leissner’s name was all over the world and he had quit Goldman Sachs.
He was suspended there for writing an unauthorised letter of recommendation for Low.
The Mauritius central bank or Bank of Mauritius known as BoM blocked the transaction.
Concerned about a possible connection between Leissner and the global 1MDB scandal, notified the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
But that did not deter Leissner from creating the company, Blackfish Mauritius.
That also did not deter the 1MDB boys to get to sit on the board of the said bank, the Islamic bank, Century Banking Corp.
The corporate registry in Mauritius shows Mr Leissner set up a company called Blackfish International (Mauritius) Ltd on Sept 29, 2016. On Nov 11.
Leissner did become a director of a fully-owned unit of the bank for several months, until April.
This is while Phengphian was chairman of Century Banking’s board.