Kuwaiti Supreme Court Upholds Sentences Against 1MDB Conspirators

News last week of the return of another US $100 million to Malaysia, thanks to the prosecution of illegal assets seized by the US Department of Justice, has over-shadowed the prospect of far larger sums due from Kuwait.

Both hoards represent the laundering of monies stolen from 1MDB and in both cases it was this website Sarawak Report that first exposed the thefts orchestrated by then prime minister Najib’s proxy, Jho Low.

The news from Kuwait is that on Thursday 27th June the country’s highest court upheld sentences passed against three key co-conspirators of Jho Low in Kuwait, whom the court claims laundered $1.2 billion dollars which had been detoured from Malaysia using a slate of Chinese state companies and complicit Chinese state banks as part of the 1MDB cover up attempts.

The powerful businessman son of the prime minister of the time, Sheikh Sabah Jaber Al-Mubarak, had his appeal rejected and ten year sentence, passed last year, upheld. Likewise, Hamad Al Wazzan the US educated college friend of Jho Low who had acted as a conduit between the Malaysian fraudster and his powerful Kuwaiti contacts.

Sh Sabah’s lawyer, Saud Abdelmohsan, who had fronted the off-shore Cayman company Silk Road Southeast Asia Ltd also had his seven year conviction upheld.

As for Jho Low, he too had been jailed to ten years but in absentia as had the Kuwaiti business contact of Sh Sabah, Bachar Kiwan, who had dropped out of the conspiracy early on to turn whistleblower.

Kiwan, having been persecuted by Sabah and his father’s regime at the time, has now escaped abroad and received a UN notice declaring him to be a political target who ought not to be extradited to Kuwait.

According to local news outlet Kuwait 24 the case has been one of the biggest corruption trials in years, plainly involving one of the most powerful branches of the ruling family.

Not only does this last appeal cement the jail sentences of the three men but it obligates them to surrender a staggering $1 billion stolen through their operation, reports Kuwait 24. The earlier court judgement found that a total of $1.2 billion had been smuggled through accounts they controlled in the Kuwaiti branch of ICBC Bank.

The confiscated sums clearly represent money that can ultimately be claimed by Malaysia which has a clear case against Kuwait for the early failures of its regulatory systems against money laundering by politically powerful figures.

Sarawak Report has learned that negotiations are indeed underway involving the MACC and other bodies to reclaim that cash on behalf of 1MDB and the Malaysian public purse.

However, it is unlikely that this represents the full sums that were smuggled into Kuwait, according information received by this website.

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