Son of Malaysia’s Prime Minister appears on “Panama Papers”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

NazifuddinAnother blow for Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak: One of his sons, Mohd Nazifuddin Mohd Najib, has been sighted on the list of influential people leaked from a Panama-based law firm, called the “Panama Papers” and revealed by an international consortium of investigative journalists.

The leak, described as the largest amount of data that journalists ever worked with, comprising of 2.6 terabytes of data and 11.5 million documents, sheds light on 214,000 shell companies. It exposes 140 politicians from more than 50 countries connected to offshore companies in 21 tax havens, including heads of state, their associates, ministers, elected officials and relatives. The list also includes fraudsters and drug traffickers, as well as billionaires, celebrities and sports stars.

Among the people are the new President of Argentina, the Prime Minister of Iceland, the President of the Ukraine, the King of Saudi Arabia, the former Prime Minister and the Emir of Qatar, the President of the UAE, Azerbaijan’s first family, friends of Russia President Vladimir Putin, the daughter of the former Chinese Prime Minister, the father of the UK’s Prime Minister and members of the UK Parliament, the Justice Minister of Cambodia and many others.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which led the investigation together with Germany-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, said that appearing on the list does not automatically imply any wrongdoing of the involved persons.

“There are legitimate uses for offshore companies, foundations and trusts,” the ICIJ said, adding that “we do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities [listed] have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly,” it said.

However, offshore companies such as the ones described are notoriously secretive due to opaque tax and corporate laws in their jurisdictions. For this reason, its use has been controversial.

In the scandal revolving around 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), such offshore companies have been used to wire money from UAE business partners of the fund to accounts of Malaysia’ Prime Minister.

Nazifuddin offshore companies
Nazifuddin’s offshore business network (Click to enlarge)

In the case of Nazifuddin, the leak revealed that he created two offshore companies while his father was in power. In 2009, he became one of the two directors of Jay Marriot International Ltd., which has been registered in the British Virgin Islands. The other director was Ch’ng Soon Sen, then executive director of Malaysia Pacific Corp., a major property developer, and now its CEO.

Ch’ng confirmed to ICIJ acquiring Jay Marriot together with Nazifuddin in 2009, but there had been “no business activity since formation”. He said that in 2011 Nazifuddin transferred his share to Ch’ng’s sister and resigned as director.

In 2012, together with Megat Daniff Shahriman bin Zaharudin, a business developer, Nazifuddin became a director of PCJ International Venture Limited, also registered in the British Virgin Islands. Megat is the financial adviser of a nongovernmental organization headed by Nazifuddin, Youth on Unity, which aims to help Malaysia’s underprivileged children. PCJ International Venture Limited was inactivated in 2013.

Nazifuddin told the ICIJ that PCJ International was set up for “conducting international business,” but there had been no business transactions and the company was subsequently shut down.

The ICIJ noted that Nazifuddin is involved in a range of Malaysian business activities in sectors such as technology, energy, finance, mass transit and paints and coatings. In 2015, Nazifuddin became vice president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia. The same year, he denied allegations that he had been involved in a Ponzi scheme related to a controversial multi-level marketing company in Thailand called UFun. Nazifuddin has publicly defended his father in the 1MDB scandal.

 

 

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Another blow for Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak: One of his sons, Mohd Nazifuddin Mohd Najib, has been sighted on the list of influential people leaked from a Panama-based law firm, called the “Panama Papers” and revealed by an international consortium of investigative journalists.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

NazifuddinAnother blow for Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak: One of his sons, Mohd Nazifuddin Mohd Najib, has been sighted on the list of influential people leaked from a Panama-based law firm, called the “Panama Papers” and revealed by an international consortium of investigative journalists.

The leak, described as the largest amount of data that journalists ever worked with, comprising of 2.6 terabytes of data and 11.5 million documents, sheds light on 214,000 shell companies. It exposes 140 politicians from more than 50 countries connected to offshore companies in 21 tax havens, including heads of state, their associates, ministers, elected officials and relatives. The list also includes fraudsters and drug traffickers, as well as billionaires, celebrities and sports stars.

Among the people are the new President of Argentina, the Prime Minister of Iceland, the President of the Ukraine, the King of Saudi Arabia, the former Prime Minister and the Emir of Qatar, the President of the UAE, Azerbaijan’s first family, friends of Russia President Vladimir Putin, the daughter of the former Chinese Prime Minister, the father of the UK’s Prime Minister and members of the UK Parliament, the Justice Minister of Cambodia and many others.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which led the investigation together with Germany-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, said that appearing on the list does not automatically imply any wrongdoing of the involved persons.

“There are legitimate uses for offshore companies, foundations and trusts,” the ICIJ said, adding that “we do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities [listed] have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly,” it said.

However, offshore companies such as the ones described are notoriously secretive due to opaque tax and corporate laws in their jurisdictions. For this reason, its use has been controversial.

In the scandal revolving around 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), such offshore companies have been used to wire money from UAE business partners of the fund to accounts of Malaysia’ Prime Minister.

Nazifuddin offshore companies
Nazifuddin’s offshore business network (Click to enlarge)

In the case of Nazifuddin, the leak revealed that he created two offshore companies while his father was in power. In 2009, he became one of the two directors of Jay Marriot International Ltd., which has been registered in the British Virgin Islands. The other director was Ch’ng Soon Sen, then executive director of Malaysia Pacific Corp., a major property developer, and now its CEO.

Ch’ng confirmed to ICIJ acquiring Jay Marriot together with Nazifuddin in 2009, but there had been “no business activity since formation”. He said that in 2011 Nazifuddin transferred his share to Ch’ng’s sister and resigned as director.

In 2012, together with Megat Daniff Shahriman bin Zaharudin, a business developer, Nazifuddin became a director of PCJ International Venture Limited, also registered in the British Virgin Islands. Megat is the financial adviser of a nongovernmental organization headed by Nazifuddin, Youth on Unity, which aims to help Malaysia’s underprivileged children. PCJ International Venture Limited was inactivated in 2013.

Nazifuddin told the ICIJ that PCJ International was set up for “conducting international business,” but there had been no business transactions and the company was subsequently shut down.

The ICIJ noted that Nazifuddin is involved in a range of Malaysian business activities in sectors such as technology, energy, finance, mass transit and paints and coatings. In 2015, Nazifuddin became vice president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia. The same year, he denied allegations that he had been involved in a Ponzi scheme related to a controversial multi-level marketing company in Thailand called UFun. Nazifuddin has publicly defended his father in the 1MDB scandal.

 

 

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