Swiss IT exec paid to leave PetroSaudi, denies 1MDB blackmail, say Thai cops


(TMI) – A Swiss IT executive was paid some RM15 million to leave PetroSaudi International but has denied asking for nearly RM10 million more in a blackmail attempt over 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) woes, Thai media quoted police as saying.

The 49-year-old Xavier Andre Justo was arrested at a house on Koh Samui this Monday with computers, hard drives and other data storage devices, The Bangkok Post quoted police as saying.

Justo demanded 90 million baht (RM9.9 million) from the company in exchange for not disclosing confidential information to rival companies, said Police Colonel Akaradech Pimonsri, acting commander of the Crime Suppression Division.

He denied the allegations, police said.

Justo worked for PetroSaudi, but was paid an equivalent of 140 million baht (RM15 million)to leave the company after he was found to have “behaved against the company’s rules and regulations”, added Pol Col Akaradech.

The Saudi energy company is a partner in 1MDB, the Malaysian strategic investor which has racked up debts of RM42 billion, and is now being restructured into three companies as part of a rationalisation effort to get rid of its debts.

The Bangkok Post said Thai police believed Justo leaked information about PetroSaudi to a “UK-based news website” which the paper identified as the London-based Sarawak Report.

Citing Malaysian sources, the paper said the leaks and reports by the website was “part of a plot to discredit” Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also finance minister and chairman of 1MDB’s advisory board.

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