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‘Jho Low email said Najib approved US$1bn loan’

 | March 8, 2015

Sarawak Report quotes messages to show Bank Negara kept out of the loop in PetroSaudi deal

Jho Low_najib_1mdb_PetroSaudi_300KUALA LUMPUR: Businessman Jho Low told the managers of Saudi energy company PetroSaudi in 2009 that he had approval from prime minister Najib Razak for a US$1 billion loan to the company in 2010, according the Sarawak Report.

The website quoted correspondence to show that Jho Low had tried to avoid informing Bank Negara Malaysia or obtaining its approval about the loan.

“No need to tell Central bank, we have Ministry of Finance Approval and FM (also PM) has signed…” Jho Low apparently told PetroSaudi’s Patrick Mahoney in a message quoted by Sarawak Report.

He said it was only necessary to obtain approval from the Ministry of Finance, and that informing Bank Negara would cause delays.

”Mof approval is required for the loan which we have signed by pm who is also FM”. (Mof – Ministry of Finance. PM – prime minister. FM – finance minister).

Sarawak Report noted that Jho Low’s lawyers in London had denied Jho Low’s involvement in the PetroSaudi deal or involvement with 1MDB after mid-May, but quoted from messages in its possession to show that Jho Low and Patrick Mahoney were deep in discussions about the deal in September 2009.

“And Sarawak Report has copies of detailed correspondence between Jho Low, 1MDB and the managers of PetroSaudi, relating to what appears to have been a further $1 billion paid out in loans by 1MDB to the oil company during the course of 2010.”

1MDB had apparently taken a loan to make the US$1 billion payment and should have declared it to Bank Negara Malaysia, Sarawak Report said. It described Jho Low as taking an authoritative role in the negotiations, and said he had insisted that Bank Negara should not be informed of the loan, because it would cause “unnecessary delays”.

Sarawak Report said the correspondence “appears to confirm that the Prime Minister was fully engaged in these negotiations” and that the correspondence showed that Najib “had personally signed the loan by 1MDB to PetroSaudi, without having passed it by the Bank Negara”.

It also appeared that Jho Low was “acting as the interface” between Najib and PetroSaudi, Sarawak Report said.


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