Wednesday, January 19, 2022

1MDB amends writ of summons, seeks US$3.7 billion from Jho Low and family

The original writ had put the claim at US$1.402 billion.

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1MDB and its four subsidiaries have amended their writ of summons to seek US$3.7837 billion from fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, his family members and an associate.

Through the court’s e-filing system, 1MDB and its four subsidiaries – 1MDB Energy Holdings Limited, 1MDB Energy Limited, 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited and Global Diversified Investment Company Limited, formerly known as 1MDB Global Investments Limited – as the plaintiffs, filed the amended writ in the High Court on July 6.

In the original writ filed on May 7, the companies sought a claim of US$1.402 billion against Jho Low, his father Larry Low Hock Peng, his elder sister May Lin and his associate Eric Tan Kim Loong as the defendants.

The amended writ named his mother, Goh Gaik Ewe and his brother, Taek Szen as additional defendants.

Based on the amended writ, the first plaintiff (1MDB) is claiming US$661 million from Jho Low and US$41 million, US$397 million, US$608 million and US$1.9 billion from Jho Low and Tan respectively as well as US$325 million from Jho Low and his father Hock Peng

1MDB Global Investments Limited is also seeking US$630 million from Hock Peng, Jho Low and Tan and US$2 million from Taek Szen, Jho Low and Tan.

The plaintiffs are also seeking US$1.695 million from Goh, Jho Low and Tan in connection with the purchase of jewellery and secret profits apart from claiming US$25.5 million from Jho Low, Tan, Hock Peng and Taek Szen.

Based on the statement of claim, the plaintiffs claimed that they were manipulated by a group of individuals, including Najib Razak and the first defendant (Jho Low) to facilitate large-scale and long-term fraud.

“This resulted in billions of ringgit being fraudulently misappropriated and diverted into privately controlled accounts for the benefit of various fraudsters, including the defendants.

“In carrying out the fraud, multiple breaches of trust and/or fiduciary duties were committed by Najib, members of the board of directors and senior management of the plaintiffs.

“The funds and assets of the plaintiffs which were transferred to the defendants were misappropriated, with the knowledge of the defendants, in breach of trust and fiduciary duty,” said the plaintiffs.

According to the statement of claim, the plaintiffs alleged that Najib had abused his power and position to protect himself and cover up the fraud against the plaintiffs, among others by obstructing efforts to investigate and uncover evidence related to fraud and misconduct against the plaintiffs in Malaysia.

The plaintiffs claimed that Najib, among others, used his power to sack any senior public officials, including the attorney-general and the then-deputy prime minister, who questioned his conduct or continued to investigate fraud against the plaintiffs.

“Najib was forced to resign after Barisan Nasional lost the 14th general election on May 9, 2018.

“A new government was formed on May 10, 2018, which took over control of ownership over all the plaintiffs. It was only after the new government came into power and Najib stepped down as prime minister that a fair and detailed investigation could be carried out,” the plaintiffs claimed in the suit.

When contacted, lawyer Siva Kumar Kanagasabai, who is representing the plaintiffs, confirmed the matter and said that case management had been fixed for Aug 12.

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