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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Malaysian court grants temporary freeze on $340 million PetroSaudi International money in UK

Malaysia and the US claim some $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 July, 2020

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The Malaysian court granted a temporary freeze whilst it considers a hearing on the matter, set for the end of August.





A Malaysian court on Thursday granted an interim order to stop Saudi energy from PetroSaudi International (PSI) from using more than $340 million in funds in Britain, which Malaysian authorities believe to have been siphoned from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state wealth fund.

Malaysia and the US claim some $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB in a global scheme that implicates former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and US bank Goldman Sacks.

Najib has denied any wrongdoing.

Three units of Goldman Sachs in February pled not guilty in a Malaysia court to charges of misleading investors over a $6.5 billion bond sale the bank helped raise for 1MDB.

As a result high court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali imposed a temporary freeze on funds in Britain held by PetroSaudi, a company with links to the Saudi royal family.

The freeze will remain in place until an appropriate outcome of a 28 August hearing on an application by Malaysian prosecutors seeking an order to prohibit the company and four others from accessing the funds.


The Free Malaysia Today news site quoted a lawyer for the MACC, Muhammad Nizamuddin Abdul Hamid, as saying Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) had advised Malaysian authorities to seek a Malaysian court order so the NCA could enforce it there.

Others named in the application were PSI co-founder Tarek Obaid, PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Limited, Clyde & Co LLP, which is holding $500 million of PetroSaudi funds in escrow, and an account under the name Temple Fiduciary Services, which Malaysian prosecutors say allegedly belongs to Tarek.

Lawyers representing Tarek and PetroSaudi Oil Services opposed the order in court.

The joint venture 1MDB was co-founded by Najib in 2009 and was designed originally with PetroSaudi to develop oil fields that year, with $1 billion paid by the Malaysian fund.

The joint venture failed. 

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