Executives linked to 1MDB jailed in Abu Dhabi

Boo Su-Lyn
A man walks past a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard in Kuala Lumpur, March 30, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Two high-profile figures in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal were jailed for financial crimes in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that former head of Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) Khadem Al Qubaisi was sentenced to prison for 15 years, while US citizen Mohammed Badawy Al Husseiny, who ran an IPIC subsidiary, was jailed for 10 years.

The two men were ordered to pay about US$336 million (RM1.4 billion), half to IPIC that was described as a “victim company” and half as a penalty, according to the Abu Dhabi criminal court.

WSJ reported people familiar with Al Qubaisi’s conviction, who was convicted of “exploiting his job and unlawfully appropriating €149 million (RM697.8 million) after selling shares he owns for the company he heads, without disclosing his ownership of the shares, for €210 million”, as saying that it was not related to the 1MDB scandal.

The Abu Dhabi court’s statement reportedly said the investigations were part of a larger probe by the Abu Dhabi Public Funds Prosecution into graft allegations.

Al Husseiny was reportedly convicted of “exploiting his position and facilitating the seizure of the company’s money by” Al Qubaisi.

Al Qubaisi previously told WSJ last January that he was being unfairly blamed as the “scapegoat” for the UAE’s role in the 1MDB financial scandal.

The US Justice Department has alleged that US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB, a Malaysian state investment fund, and distributed among several co-conspirators, including Al Qubaisi and Al Husseiny.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is currently facing trial over charges of abuse of position, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in connection to RM42 million from SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.

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