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  • The 1MDB scandal is one of the greatest financial frauds in history.

  • $4.5bn was allegedly misappropriated from the Malaysian state investment fund and used to buy luxury real estate, expensive works of art, and even to produce a Hollywood movie about, of all things, financial fraud.

  • But how did they do it?

  • According to the US Department of Justice, one strategy involved setting up bank accounts under fake company names that resembled real firms.

  • BlackRock Commodities (Global) Limited sounds a lot like the global investment manager, while Affinity Equity International Partners Limited could easily be mistaken for the private equity firm.

  • There's no law against this, but it could help put investigators off the scent.

  • Another scheme saw money transferred to trust accounts at US law firms.

  • Client confidentiality rules in the US mean these accounts are barely regulated, making suspicious transactions difficult to find.

  • The DOJ alleges that firms like Shearman and Sterling and DLA Piper were unwittingly used to sneak a billion dollars from 1MDB into the US.

  • The third strategy allegedly employed is what the DOJ calls layering; moving funds from bank account to bank account, adding layers of complexity, until the original source of the funds is camouflaged.

  • Let's follow the money allegedly used to buy this pink diamond necklace for Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister and founder of 1MDB, Najib Razak.

  • It all starts with a $3bn bond arranged by Goldman Sachs in 2013.

  • That was issued by a wholly-owned subsidiary of 1MDB incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, and the proceeds were earmarked for a joint venture with a firm in Abu Dhabi.

  • But instead of heading to the Middle East, most of the money was transferred into an account at Swiss private bank BSI, in Lugano.

  • From there, the DOJ claims it was shifted to investment funds in offshore centres.

  • The money was wired by a correspondent bank account at JPMorgan Chase in the US to two accounts at the Singapore branch of Swiss private bank, Falcon Bank.

  • Funds went back and forth between these accounts, adding layer upon layer of complication, gradually obscuring the origin.

  • Eventually, $681m were transferred from Tanore into a Malaysian bank account held by Najib Razak, a sum he insists was a political donation from the Saudi royal family.

  • Five months later, most of it was returned.

  • The money bounced around accounts at Falcon and DBS Bank in Singapore before a sum of $27.3m was, according to the DOJ, wired to jeweller Lorraine Schwartz to buy the necklace.

  • The complexity of these cross-border flows has made getting to the bottom of the 1MDB fraud painstaking and difficult.

  • But with Malaysia's government keen to burnish its graft-fighting credentials and claw back the money stolen, the investigation shows no signs of slowing down.

The 1MDB scandal is one of the greatest financial frauds in history.

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1MDBスキャンダル:マレーシアの詐欺の説明 (1MDB scandal: the Malaysian fraud explained)

  • 86 4
    Jessieeee に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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