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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

WHEN WILL AUSTRALIA REALIZE DEALING WITH A ROGUE PM LIKE NAJIB IS CATASTROPHE: FROM ANZ & AMBANK IN 1MDB TO RAINE & HORNE’S KL OFFICE IN MARA, AUSSIE FIRMS SHOW HOW GREEDY & SUSCEPTIBLE TO CORRUPTION THEY CAN BE

PETALING JAYA – Australian real estate giant Raine and Horne International’s office in Kuala Lumpur has been implicated in the alleged corruption case involving Majlis Amanah Rakyat’s (Mara) acquisition of a prime property in Melbourne.
Australian newspaper Sydney Morning Herald reported that a 280-room city apartment building, Unilodge, which housed international students on Swanston Street near Melbourne University was vastly inflated.
It said Mara had allegedly asked the Kuala Lumpur office to issue a valuation for the Melbourne building which it had valued at A$43mil (RM135.3mil) despite the building owner Australian businessman Lionel Harber having valued the property at A$23.5mil (RM73.9mil).
The report said Harber was surprised when he was told that the building which he sold to an agent connected to an offshore company was resold to Mara for A$41.8mil (RM131.5mil).
Raine and Horne’s Australian headquarters added that the Malaysian local managers had insisted that the A$43mil (RM135.3mil) valuation was appropriate.
It claimed that investigations found “no impropriety was found under the terms of that investigation”.
The firm’s headquarters clarified that its Kuala Lumpur office pays a fee to use the firm’s name, but it was run by Malaysian managers.
Meanwhile, the report said based on investigations into the “Panama Papers” 2016 leak, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca was revealed to have created two secretive front companies in the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Man which were then used to set up a Melbourne company.
All three firms were then subsequently used to inflate the price of the property to A$41.8mil (RM131.5mil) despite its original market value.
The report also alleged that Fonseca’s lawyers together with a few Australian middle men facilitated the corruption of not just the Swanston Street property but also three other Australian buildings which the Malaysian government allegedly bought for around A$75mil (RM235.9mil).
The report said the profits was then distributed among the conspirators involved in the sale of the property.
An investigation by Fairfax Media had also traced A$8mil (RM25.2mil) in bribes and kickbacks to bank accounts of Malaysian officials, or their relatives or friends from the sale of the Melbourne property.
– ANN

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