Sarawak Report has located at least one of the swanky London properties acquired by PetroSaudi CEO and Co-founder Tarek Obaid, shortly after the company received $300 million defrauded from 1MDB.
Obaid himself received a personal kickback from fugitive financier Jho Low’s Good Star Limited of $85 million of “brokerage fees” on the deal.
The 5 bedroomed apartment in Park Street, Mayfair, purchased in August 2010, was described by estate agents as “an immaculately present duplex on the 3rd and 4th floors of this prestigious building”, which had been recently refurbished in luxury modern style.
It covers a total of 3,452 square feet and has a lift and full time concierge to attend to the residents needs.
However the United States Department of Justice has indicated they believe there is at least $3.5 billion to be accounted for and the Malaysian Auditor General says the total missing in fact reaches $7 billion.
It seems highly likely that properties acquired by Obaid and his colleagues which closely relate to the injection of huge sums into their previously cash poor companies will present a future target.
Evidence shows that before the 1MDB venture Obaid was a young businessmen with limited cash and no substantial property. PetroSaudi itself was originally financed by a 100,000 Swiss franc loan from friends and the company had borrowed office space and a phone line from another company Fininfor, which was owned by his then friend Xavier Justo (now in jail in Thailand, accused of stealing PetroSaudi’s data).
Recent documents acquired by Sarawak Report indicate that Obaid is currently being directly scrutinised by Swiss Prosecutors on the basis that the money acquired by him related to 1MDB is of suspicious origin. People who have received money fromSarawak Report has also identified another multi-million pound house in Ladbroke Square, which was similarly purchased by a fellow PetroSaudi director, Patrick Mahony, in November 2009, just weeks after the joint venture deal and bought from money passed into his accounts from the $85 million fee sent by Jho Low.
Mahony too has been questioned by Swiss and US investigators several times, according to information obtained by Sarawak Report.
Obaid is also known to have acquired several tens of millions of dollars of property in Geneva and elsewhere in Switzerland, again in the period immediately after the joint venture with 1MDB, now recognised as a scam to steal billions of public development money, orchestrated by the Malaysian Prime Minister and Jho Low.