RM3.5bil in 1MDB funds pumped into Las Vegas nightclub: report

Safeek Affendy Razali

KUALA LUMPUR: More than RM3.5 billion in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds may have been used to finance the Hakkasan luxury nightclub in Las Vegas, the United States.

This was based on findings by the US Department of Justice following the arrest of former Hakkasan Group chairman Khadem Al-Qubaisi, who was arrested by Abu Dhabi authorities last week for his alleged involvement with politicians, banking companies and entertainers from around the world.

He is also one of the main suspects in the 1MDB scandal.

Some of Khadem’s confiscated assets include the Hakkasan and Omnia entertainment outlets, where some US$10 billion was used to pay for Hakkasan’s operating costs.


More than RM3.5 billion in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds may have been used to finance the Hakkasan luxury nightclub in Las Vegas, the United States. Google Images

According to a foreign news portal, Khadem first appeared in the Las Vegas nightclub industry during the 2008 financial crisis.

The Hakkasan nightclub is a popular hangout spot in Las Vegas. It is understood that its owner spent large sums of money on electronic music systems and to hire famous artistes to perform there every weekend.

Hakkasan, which began operating in 2013, is a joint venture between Khadem and British-born nightclub mogul Neil Moffitt.

The Hakkasan Group emerged as one of the biggest nightclub operators in Las Vegas and opened another luxury nightclub called the Omnia two years ago.

Online news portal Sarawak Report had previously exposed documents detailing how 1MDB funds were used to finance the Hakkasan nightclub.

According to the documents, a company called Vasco Trust received monies from 1MDB through an investment before transferring the funds to Hakkasan Group and Tasameem Real Estate LLC, which is also owned by Khadem. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd