Three prominent Malaysian businessmen sought to assist investigations of fraud, mismanagement and corruption in 1MDB and related companies, are no longer in the country.
Members of the investigating team of the Special Task Force have been unable to locate Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and Datuk Suboh Mohd Yassin. They were supposed to have given statements over various transactions linked to the private banking account supposedly belonging to the Prime Minister.
Sources close to the task force said intelligence reports suggest one of them is in Indonesia while the other could not be traced.
They have also sought to locate businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low to assist in their probe. He is reportedly operating out of Hong Kong.
All three are required to assist in providing information on the transfer of funds from a former 1MDB subsidiary – SRC International Sdn Bhd – which is now a unit directly under the Finance Ministry.
(SRC had borrowed RM4 billion from the the public retirement fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) in 2011.)
Suboh and Nik Faizal are shareholders of Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd, one of the two companies used as a conduit to transfer accounts from SRC to a private bank account in AmBank.
Investigators from the task force consisting of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), police and Bank Negara Malaysia had two weeks ago raided the offices of SRC, Gandingan Mentari and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd and seized several documents.
Nik Faisal is a close associate of businessman Jho Low, who has also been summoned to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.
According to media reports, Nik Faisal was the “link man” between UBG, 1MDB and PetroSaudi for channelling US$260 million of 1MDB money into the purchase of UBG involving Jho Low and the then Sarawak Chief Minister Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud in 2010. He was then transferred to become CEO of 1MDB’s new subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.
Nik Faizal later became UBG Berhad’s executive director of investments and chief investment officer (CIO) after Jho Low bought substantial shares and became a board member of the bank.