New Straits Times-Nov 1
The joint-venture deal between PetroSaudi International Ltd (PetroSaudi) and 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was purposefully done to steal money, claimed Xavier Andre Justo.
In an exclusive interview with Astro Awani, the former PetroSaudi executive officer said before the deal was signed in September 2009, PetroSaudi was almost a non-existence company.
“The company was created by Tarek Obaid, one of my very best friends in 2005. This company has only one good asset… the name. It sounds like a Saudi government company.
“But from 2006 until the 1MDB money went into PetroSaudi account, it was almost a non-existence company.
“In Geneva, they were hiring a part-time employee. I know that because he was stationed in my office. In Saudi Arabia, which was supposed to be the central of the business, there was only one guy picking up the phone. In London, three oilmen were paid part-time. So the company almost did not exist until September 2009 when they did this famous joint-venture with 1MDB,” he said.
The Swiss whistle-blower explained that he wasn’t there when PetroSaudi signed and received the money from 1MDB.
“Before the deal was done, I left to Thailand with my wife. Few months after the deal was struck and money received, Obaid called me a few times and asked me to come back to London to work officially for PetroSaudi.
“I refused at the beginning, but I went to work for PetroSaudi in London in February 2010. I wasn’t there when they signed and received the money, but I knew that they were doing a deal with 1MDB, which was already a topic in August 2009.”
When asked how he knew that the deal was a fraud if he was not around when it was signed, he answered: “The deal was a joint-venture between 1MDB and PetroSaudi. 1MDB sent USD1 billion in the first stage and PetroSaudi had to bring something into the joint-venture asset. You bring something, I bring something, that’s a joint-venture.
“So 1MDB sent the money, PetroSaudi officially said in September to bring in oil fields mainly in Turkmenistan.
“In August, there was no oil field. So out of nowhere, they found USD3 billion of oil that they brought into the joint-venture, and that’s it,” he said.
Meanwhile, when asked if he doctored the PetroSaudi data as claimed by some parties, he replied: “No.” “I’m a banker and a financial guy. I’m very bad at IT. If you realise the 227,000 images in the data, you will need probably more than a lifetime to go through that, so I wasn’t able to download the data.
“How can I doctored, manipulated or changed (the data), I’m not an IT guy. I made a copy, and then gave it to Clare (Clare Rewcastle Brown, Sarawak Report editor). It was never manipulated. The proof is that I still have the original copy that I gave to the authorities. They matched and there’s no difference.
“But of course, (Malaysian) previous government had no choice. There is always a choice. Admit and confess or deny, and if they deny they need to build a story, the story that they built was I was the bad guy, the money seeking guy, that I stole the data, downloaded the data, that I was coordinating this with the opposition, with the journalist, and everything was part of a conspiracy.
“None of that is true. I didn’t steal the data, I didn’t manipulate the data. I wasn’t in any kind of conspiracy, not at all.”