PetroSaudi denies siphoning money for Jho Low


(Malay Mail Online) – Oil exploration and production company PetroSaudi International refuted today a media report accusing it of acting as a “front” for billionaire Low Taek Jho to siphon over US$700 million (RM2.5 billion) off state-owned investment firm 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Insisting that it has fully repaid 1MDB, PetroSaudi said in a statement that the “wild accusations” made in the report were “malicious”.

“Both parties no longer have any further financial or legal obligation,” the firm said, as quoted by news portal The Rakyat Post.

PetroSaudi also said it was mulling legal action against the allegedly slanderous claims.

Whistleblower site Sarawak Report ran an exposé today accusing Low, better known as Jho Low, of siphoning off US$700 million (RM2.5 billion) from 1MDB and using PetroSaudi as a “front” in a 2009 joint-venture.

Founded in 2005, PetroSaudi is a private oil services and production company based in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland.

The firm was founded by now CEO Tarek Essam Ahmad Obaid and several investors, including its chairman Prince Turki Al-Saud, the seventh son of the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

Sarawak Report’s investigation into the controversy was done together with UK-based The Sunday Times, purportedly after obtaining thousands of leaked documents and emails involving 1MDB.

Several news outfits have since picked up on the expose, including The Malaysian Insider, a portal recently purchased by The Edge Media Group, which is now facing a possible legal suit by Low.

In The Edge Weekly’s latest March 2 — 8 edition, a letter of demand dating February 26 from Low was republished, detailing demands from the business magnate for a retraction of the “false and defamatory assertions” an article on The Malaysian Insider’s article last month.

On February 23, TMI ran an article titled “Razak family concerned about inheritance talk, say siblings”,  following an exposé in The New York Times that highlighted Low’s wealth and role as a property investor.

In response, however, The Edge said it stands by its articles and will continue to carry reports on Low and 1MDB whenever it deems fit.

“We would like to state here that The Edge Media Group stands by all the articles we have published about Mr Low and about 1Malaysia Development Bhd, and we will continue to publish news stories about Mr Low and 1MDB as and when it is merited,” The Edge group CEO and publisher Ho Kay Tat said.