Scorpene inquiry stumbles upon money maze

( – The French judicial inquiry into alleged corruption in Malaysia’s purchase of two Scorpene class submarines have stumbled upon a complex money trail due to the slew of companies involved in the procurement transaction.

French lawyer Apoline Cagnat, who is acting on behalf of human rights group Suaram, said during a briefing in Singapore that the financial documentation in cases of suspected corruption is usually very complicated to navigate particularly of it involves multiple jurisdictions.
“It is complicated to trace the companies and will take time because it (corrupt practices) is supposed to be hidden,” Cagnat reiterated to Malaysian reporters via Skype after she conducted a briefing on the Scorpene inquiry in Singapore today.
The live webcast of Cagnat’s briefing to Singapore press and several Malaysian opposition politicians was held in Kuala Lumpur by Solidariti Anak Melayu Malaysia (SAMM), a PKR-linked organisation.
Cagnat’s briefing was initially scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur but the event was moved to Singapore at the eleventh hour when she did not receive a response from Malaysia’s Ministry of Home Affairs to guarantee her safe passage into Malaysia.
Cagnat is among the lawyers acting for Suaram, the organisation that filed the complaint in France which kicked off the judicial investigation over allegations of corruption in Malaysia’s purchase of the Scorpene submarines from French defence contractor Direction des Construction Navales Services (DCNS).
French prosecutors have raided DCNS’s offices and seized various documents include some which purportedly detail payments made to two companies set up by former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who is said to be a close associate of prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Perimekar Sdn Bhd, a company controlled by Abdul Razak, stands accused of receiving RM540 million or 114 million euros for its “support services” which Suaram and the opposition claims are kickbacks for the submarine deal.