Najib’s platinum credit cards ran hot on luxury spending: Report

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Najib and Rosmah
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Manor

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife allegedly spent as much as $15 million on luxury items over the past years, according to bank account data scrutinised by a Malaysian investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported on March 31. The goods were paid with credit cards linked to Najib’s private bank accounts that global investors believe received millions of dollars diverted from troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB..

The money was spent on clothes, jewellery and a car in the US, Malaysia, Italy and elsewhere, according to the bank transfer information which revealed expenses, among others, at a luxury car dealership in Kuala Lumpur, a jewellery store in Italy and a Chanel shop in Honolulu, where Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor appears to have spent more than $130,000 in December 2014. Two days later, on Christmas Eve, Najib played golf with US President Barack Obama.

Najib’s Platinum Mastercard and Platinum Visa linked to his AmBank account had further been overdrawn due to a $1,039,369.91 purchase of jewellery in September 2014 — a spending spree described inside AmBank as a “huge volume”. Najib’s credit card also incurred charges of €750,000 in August 2014 from an Italian jewellery store.

Rosmah has previously been reported to have purchased a series of luxury items, from diamond jewellery to designer handbags, whose price tags appears to be beyond the means of her husband’s $100,000 official annual salary.

According to the report, payments from the Prime Minister’s accounts at this time also included nearly $7 million to the private account of one of Najib’s four brothers, Nazir Abdul Razak, who is chairman of government-controlled CIMB bank. The report also said that another transfer of around $70,000 went to the prime minister’s son, Norashman Najib. A whopping amount of $44 million was allegedly transferred to a Malaysian company called Solar Shine Berhad which seems to have used it to distribute small handouts like food and stationery to voters ahead of elections.

There were different sources of the money, and it still remains a mystery how much of it came from 1MDB through diverse channels and from other “donors.” Allegedly, more than $1 billion were being wired into Najib’s accounts from the Saudi Arabian government, a mysterious Saudi prince, two shadowy British Virgin Island companies linked to 1MDB and an Abu Dhabi investment firm, as well as from the Malaysian finance ministry which Najib has been heading since 2008.

Najib didn’t respond to requests for comment. He has earlier denied any wrongdoing or accepting payments for personal gains. A lawyer for his wife Rosmah also declined to comment. The 1MDB fund neither responded to questions. The fund is currently at the center of corruption probes by authorities in Malaysia, as well as investigations in Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and the US.

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[caption id="attachment_27908" align="alignleft" width="300"] Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Manor[/caption] Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife allegedly spent as much as $15 million on luxury items over the past years, according to bank account data scrutinised by a Malaysian investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported on March 31. The goods were paid with credit cards linked to Najib's private bank accounts that global investors believe received millions of dollars diverted from troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB.. The money was spent on clothes, jewellery and a car in the US, Malaysia, Italy and elsewhere,...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Najib and Rosmah
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Manor

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife allegedly spent as much as $15 million on luxury items over the past years, according to bank account data scrutinised by a Malaysian investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported on March 31. The goods were paid with credit cards linked to Najib’s private bank accounts that global investors believe received millions of dollars diverted from troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB..

The money was spent on clothes, jewellery and a car in the US, Malaysia, Italy and elsewhere, according to the bank transfer information which revealed expenses, among others, at a luxury car dealership in Kuala Lumpur, a jewellery store in Italy and a Chanel shop in Honolulu, where Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor appears to have spent more than $130,000 in December 2014. Two days later, on Christmas Eve, Najib played golf with US President Barack Obama.

Najib’s Platinum Mastercard and Platinum Visa linked to his AmBank account had further been overdrawn due to a $1,039,369.91 purchase of jewellery in September 2014 — a spending spree described inside AmBank as a “huge volume”. Najib’s credit card also incurred charges of €750,000 in August 2014 from an Italian jewellery store.

Rosmah has previously been reported to have purchased a series of luxury items, from diamond jewellery to designer handbags, whose price tags appears to be beyond the means of her husband’s $100,000 official annual salary.

According to the report, payments from the Prime Minister’s accounts at this time also included nearly $7 million to the private account of one of Najib’s four brothers, Nazir Abdul Razak, who is chairman of government-controlled CIMB bank. The report also said that another transfer of around $70,000 went to the prime minister’s son, Norashman Najib. A whopping amount of $44 million was allegedly transferred to a Malaysian company called Solar Shine Berhad which seems to have used it to distribute small handouts like food and stationery to voters ahead of elections.

There were different sources of the money, and it still remains a mystery how much of it came from 1MDB through diverse channels and from other “donors.” Allegedly, more than $1 billion were being wired into Najib’s accounts from the Saudi Arabian government, a mysterious Saudi prince, two shadowy British Virgin Island companies linked to 1MDB and an Abu Dhabi investment firm, as well as from the Malaysian finance ministry which Najib has been heading since 2008.

Najib didn’t respond to requests for comment. He has earlier denied any wrongdoing or accepting payments for personal gains. A lawyer for his wife Rosmah also declined to comment. The 1MDB fund neither responded to questions. The fund is currently at the center of corruption probes by authorities in Malaysia, as well as investigations in Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and the US.

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