Mobster & Premier: Najib’s Parallel Lives
July 31, 2016 by rihaku
This guy is still stressed, it’s his political career on the line… that’s all he thinks about.— Patrick Mahony, 1MDB Team Player
Two-face Najib: hoodlum and politician. With two hearts each following separate trails, he ran separate operations with the same smile and the same tongue. Only the words need not be the same.
The situation in 2015 and until recently: In a fetid Bangkok jail is Xavier Justo, a former employee of PetroSaudi, a fraudulent company with a fictitious USD2.5 bn ‘joint-venture’ with 1MDB that boasts of even more fictitious oilfields and drilling ships and international high connections.
Soon after the convergence of a quirk series of personal events in Justo’s life and in his relationship with Tarek Obaid, PetroSaudi ‘CEO’, that everything which had worked out so well for six years for Najib Razak, it began to unravel. Well worked-out because, in that time, everybody in the Team (the word from Patrick Mahony, below) were already celebrating, buying things, and living it up. Through 1MDB, the Team had gotten as much as USD3 bn; another USD4 bn or more would come through.
Besides, by July 2015 in particular, Najib could show that nobody could touch him — nobody, not the auditors, not the police nor the Bank Negara, nor the Attorney General, not foreign governments in Singapore or Switzerland and, up until recently this year, not even the US. In Thailand, its government could be bought. Sovereignty? That’s for assholes patriots and imbeciles, the like of Tan Keng Liang, Ibrahim Ali and Kadir Jasin and Petra Kamarudin foaming in their mouths about logic and principles and loyalty and Nusantara and ketuanan.
Then something happened. And didn’t.
In 2011, Justo, after a big bout of quarrel with Obaid, an old friend but no more, a fight that had been simmering between them for a year, he downloaded and stored in a detachable, storage hard drive all the data and information from the company’s computer server. With it, he quit. Something about the information therein nagged at him, as a Guardian newspaper account suggests, but he didn’t appear able to put a finger to what. This meant that Obaid, in spite of their close friendship before, hadn’t been letting him in on what was going on. The ways of the underworld is inexplicable to those above.
After Justo’s resignation, nothing happened for the first four years excepting that he kept badgering Obaid and Mahony, fellow racketeers, to pay him what, it seemed, they had promised. Sometimes when talking he would drop hints about that data in his possession. In his heart, perhaps, Justo didn’t belong to the underworld — he is just an ex-banker — so that the hints suggests an inkling, but nothing solid in his mind. (Recall that this was 2011-12 and the 1MDB-IPIC fraud hadn’t yet taken flight; it even looked respectable in early 2015.)
At 1MDB, on the other hand, things happened as they were intended. After the PetroSaudi scam, 1MDB proceeded to the next, this time using IPIC because the mouth waters at something far bigger: USD6.5 bn coming not from Malaysia but the US.
Three years later, something else broke into the open as if from nowhere.
Arrested in Koh Samui, that is, Samui island, Justo was accused of blackmail against PetroSaudi using the data. After which and speedily, too, he was locked up, paraded out to see by the world, Malaysia especially, then tried and jailed six years cut by half. Justo, according to Clare Brown at Sarawak Report, had contacted her and she went to Tong Kooi Ong, owner of the Edge, because Clare, poor woman that she is, couldn’t come up with the USD2 mn Justo wanted in return for giving information. Tong, a hard bargainer evidently, had passed on to Justo through Clare that they would publish and pay later. Today, Tong Kooi Ong still owes that man in jail 2 mn. Dollars, cash, plus interest, when he gets out.
Published, and life hadn’t been the same for Najib. In the heart, anyway, but not on the surface.
At the least, they had gotten Justo out of the way. But what next? How do you take back the words spit out from a tongue? There were two parts to the problem: Justo on the one part, the published information on the other.
In their hands Justo was easy; let him discredit himself. Below is an excerpt from his forced confession issued to a Thai court and distributed to the Malaysian media:
I hereby confess to my full involvement in, and responsibility for, the offences for which I am charged. They are the attempted blackmail and attempted extortion of PetroSaudi. I make this confession of my own free will and accord without any pressure, duress or outside influence. I do not wish to have a lawyer present. I fully admit my criminal behaviour and accept my guilt in these matters. I just want to set the record straight and apologise to those who I have wronged. I have conspired with others and further admit offenses of theft of data, handling stolen goods, selling stolen data and IT equipment to third parties and attempting to launder the proceeds of sale. My only motivation for selling the data that I stole was for monetary gain and I never considered myself a whistle-blower… . (emphasis added)Part Two was simply more of the same: discredit them too, partly by throwing in the idea called, ‘tampering’. In Malaysia the Edge was banned. Petra Kamarudin in Malaysia Today wrote copiously (example, Where is Tong Kooi Ong?) of an anti-Najib conspiracy financed by Tong, while Ahirudin Attan at Rocky Bru weighed in — ‘see, here’s proof of traitors‘ — as did the local print newspapers, of course. At Unspinners (page taken down since), another bunch of Najib’s hatchetmen, racist and fascist to boot, they even make it look like a Chinese-financed conspiracy against a Malay government.
All that done, still there’s this problem: how do you go after Sarawak Report overseas? Or, the UK? Those newspapers have no stake and therefore weren’t as willing, even for money, unlike RPK or Ahi, to do the dirty job. At the Team, they came up with this idea: Ah! The woman. Justo’s wife!
Laura was told, no, demanded of, into making some public confession specifically nailing Sarawak Report. This task of turning her over fell to Patrick Mahony, PetroSaudi ‘director’ and Team Player in UK who had bragged to Laura about connections in high places, having paid off the Thai police to arrest, prosecute and convict Justo. He actually produced the man’s written confession.
From the Sarawak Report (mirror site):
Mahony explained to Laura in one recorded phone call that it was necessary for her to ‘go public’ attacking Sarawak Report, in order to convince Najib Razak that he could trust Justo sufficiently to agree for him to be released from Thailand.
Having Justo as a free man testifying as a witness against 1MDB was the Prime Minister’s worst nightmare, Mahony said in French. So, unless the couple “proved which team they were on” the Malaysians would continue to use their influence and money to lock him up.*
“It was all a set-up,” Laura says of Justo’s arrest last year (above) then paraded for the propaganda benefit of ‘independent’ Malaysian reporters and newspapers, for Ahi Attan, for RPK, the whole wham-bang. “They made him look like a terrorist,” she adds. “The Malaysians say they would extradite, kill my husband if he didn’t cooperate, didn’t confess.”
At the time the NST group editor working for Najib and responsible for the propaganda was Mustapha Kamil (next photo) who in June this year left the newspaper, citing a prickly conscience and saying something like he has been the paragon of truth. There’s no record of him ever saying sorry to Justo.
Patrick Mahony: I bought them all, he once boasted to Laura. He meant he had bought the entire Thai power, from top down, the police, the colonels, the prison wardens, maybe even the prosecutors and judges. He could, naturally; the money wasn’t his, and the Thais were easy to buy — and they are so cheap, girls, police, drugs, anything. Through 1MDB, Mahony had more than USD3 bn of Malaysia’s money to spend.
In a yacht rented by Jho Low is a line-up of core ‘Team Players’. (Najib’s words to Mahony, the same words he would subsequently use on Umno divisional leaders.) Najib is next to that piece of Saudi turkey, some ‘Prince’ with an al-Saud name and also PetroSaudi (PSI) co-founder. Tarek Obaid is second from right (and next photo. Doesn’t he look like a boy, like Jho Low?)
These photos, downloaded from PSI’s hard drive, picture-alerted the world to an international fraud run by a government and for which the price to Justo is a stinking, urine-coated jail cell in Bangkok while the Team lived on diamonds, champagne, paintings, girls, swimming pools. And one jet.
A number of recorded and saved conversations by email and by phone between Laura and Mahony are revealing not just into the thuggish nature of the plot to save Najib but also the man’s actual character.
Immediately below is Najib as fraudster and a gang leader, as depicted by Mahony. Also from Sarawak Report, transcript of phone conversation, 2015 November, between Mahony and Laura:
Mahony: I told you who is controlling this…. It is his [Najib’s] ultimate nightmare that Xavier could turn on him if he gets out. This is his position at the moment.*
Laura: So what do I say to Xavier about getting out – you told me December?
Mahony: This guy is still stressed, it’s his political career on the line, he’s in deep shit and that’s all he thinks about.
Laura: So what do I say?
Mahony: The only way I can show him you are on his side, [you are] a team player, is if you are ready to put yourself in the media – you must denounce all the people that are making conspiracies against him…. We are all in deep shit. I told you the other day. I am in deep shit and a Prime Minister of a country is in deep shit because of that…. He [Xavier Justo] didn’t have to do that [releasing the data]….
Back home in Malaysia, all has quieten down. All is well; life as usual (Najib’s word). Even today, eight months later, Najib is depicted by Malaysiakini as cool and unfazed: Life remains untouched in spite of revelations from the US authorities that, through 1MDB, USD3.5 bn had been stolen from Malaysia, a billion of which was laundered and spent in the US by the Team and its Players.
Najib just has had a meeting with his Umno henchmen (more ‘team players’ evidently) and then returned to Pekan for a Hari Raya open-house party. Here, below, is Najib’s public prime ministerial face, as presented to the world, selfless and a patriot.
- At Umno meeting:
Only those specifically named in the report are mentioned in the report. This means that 1MDB is not directly involved in the report. In other words, 1MDB has no assets in the United States, and 1MDB is not directly named in the report.
- In Pekan:
There’s nothing, all are as usual…I must be ‘istiqamah‘ (committed) to my duties and responsibilities whether as the Pekan member of parliament or the prime minister to safeguard the interests of nearly 30 million Malaysians.
- The one-hour-long interview with Laura Justo uploaded on YouTube by Sarawak Report.
Below are recorded and printed samples of their conversation by phone and by email in English and French. Some are as recent as late last year.