It couldn’t have been spoken on a more appropriate day.  As Najib opened his Annual Kleptocrat Conference, otherwise known as the UMNO General Assembly, America’s top law enforcer, Jeff Sessions, labelled their regime as ‘kleptocracy at its worst’. Who could disagree?

So, Malaysians who have been too easily persuaded by claims, made either by Najib cheer-leaders or by opposition doom-mongers, that the PM’s ‘golfing pal’ President Donald Trump will use his powers to close the 1MDB investigation, must now think again.  It won’t happen.

Trump’s own hand-picked Attorney General, a scourge of the former Democrat government, which launched the 1MDB investigation, has made it crystal clear that he is backing the joint FBI investigation and is proud of its stand against kleptocracy.

After this very public show of commitment, Malaysians can rest assured that the US Government will not be pulling back on 1MDB, however many dozens of Boeing jets Najib pledges to buy.

After all, Donald Trump is not having much luck pulling the DOJ off investigating his own affairs, let alone getting a favour done for a foreign corrupted leader – even if he wanted to.

Kleptocracy means government by thieves. So, when Jeff Sessions calls 1MDB “kleptocracy at its worst” he is surely supporting the views expressed in the current main article on Sarawak Report.

Kleptocrat Conference Opens In KL

Almost half of the US$3.5 billion corruption proceeds which have been seized by the US government came from the 1MDB-related civil forfeiture suits, revealed US attorney-general Jeff Sessions.

“Nearly half of the US$3.5 billion in corruption proceeds we have restrained is related to just one enforcement action.

“That action was related to a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund known as 1MDB,” Sessions said during his speech at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery in Washington DC yesterday.

He said that allegedly corrupt officials and their associates had reportedly used the 1MDB funds for a “lavish spending spree” such as US$200 million for real estate in South California and New York, US$130 million in artwork, US$100 million in an American music label and a US$265 million yacht.

1MDB officials allegedly laundered more than US$4.5 billion in total, he said, through a complex web of opaque transactions and shell companies with bank accounts in various countries such as Switzerland, Singapore, Luxembourg and the US.

“This is kleptocracy at its worst.

“Today, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is working to provide justice to the victims of this alleged scheme,” he said.

He was speaking on the ways the US has cooperated with their law enforcement partners around the world and how that has benefitted them all.

The US has returned more than US$255 million worth of corruption proceeds to compensate victims since 2004, he said.

“That recovery has only been possible because of cooperation with our foreign law enforcement partners,” he said.

Drawing on his 14-years’ experience as a prosecutor, he said the best evidence in such corruption cases is often things like bank records, airplane records and telephone records.

If such information is not properly shared between nations, then “justice cannot be done” in many cases.

“It is essential that we continue to improve that kind of sharing.

“That is why we must all do more to expedite mutual legal assistance requests.

“These requests ensure that prosecutors have the evidence that they need to bring criminals to justice,” he said.

The DOJ has filed three civil forfeiture suits to seize US$1.7 billion worth of assets allegedly purchased with misappropriated funds from 1MDB, with the third one being filed last June.

– Sarawak Report