The Honesty Factor


July 5, 2018

The Honesty Factor

by The Sarawak Report

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Malaysia has dispensed with juries, meaning that concerns around issues of contempt and the potential for reporting to influence the outcome of trials are lessened.

Nevertheless, Malaysians are agreed former Prime Minister Najib Razak ought to receive a fair and objective hearing, which was something he and his current defence lawyer, Shafee Abdullah, spectacularly denied to others when the shoe was on the other foot. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Aside from the specific details of the charges, what the unraveling of events in recent weeks has shown is just how extensively this former Prime Minister and those around him have been prepared to blatantly lie to justify their actions and foist accusations on others in the process.

Given this record of lying, it is likely to be challenging for Najib to present himself as a reliable or trustworthy character with regard to a single thing he says. Take for a start today’s charges, which mirror the original charges against him in 2015, which were published at the time by Sarawak Report.

Dismissed as false - original charges, leaked to SR

Dismissed as false – original charges, leaked to SR

 

Back in 2015 Najib immediately announced that these charges (now confirmed by Dr Mahathir after consultation with the former Attorney General) were a complete fabrication. Not only that, Najib used the false denial to set the full force of the law onto Sarawak Report.

A raft of charges were brought, accusing the editor of scheming to bring ‘false news’ and to destabilise the government, described as ‘activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy’.

Not satisfied with issuing an arrest warrant in Malaysia on these exotic grounds, Najib even went so far as to attempt to get INTERPOL to also issue a Red Notice terror alert, all based on the same false denial about a story that has turned out to be true.

The Prime Minister went on to employ executive powers to ban online access to Sarawak Report and bully other media into not covering any of this website’s further reporting, again on the grounds of his own false denial. A campaign of online villification and defamation was then unleased to attempt to further discredit Sarawak Report.

Xavier Justo

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Xavier Justo with Prime  Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

Far worse was experienced by whistleblower Xavier Justo, who was denounced and then arrested and imprisoned on false charges in Thailand as part of the same campaign to deny thefts from 1MDB.

The Swiss national was blackmailed in captivity to issue false confessions, all designed to exonerate the Malaysian Prime Minister and others on matters relating to the very charges he now seeks to deny, namely those thefts from the fund.

Najib, therefore, has not just a record of denying the truth, he has come after those who spoke the truth with a vengeance and forced others to tell lies to suit his narrative.  So what credibility will his denials hold, one wonders, against the charges themselves?  It will be for the judges, thankfully, to weigh the facts.

Lawyer Shafee Abdullah

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Tan Sri Muhammad Shafie Abdullah–The Iago of Malaysia’s Legal  Profession

This astonishing case is of course further distinguished by the fact that the leading defence lawyer has arguably almost as extensive a track record of being accused of dishonesty and abuse of process as his client himself.

He has taken on the case after several previous lawyers hired by Najib headed for the exit, however Shafee Abdullah goes way back with the Prime Minister as the world knows. There is barely a controversial case involving Najib, that has not also involved Shafee over the past decade.

The Altantuya cover-up and the now rejected and discredited prosecution of Anwar Ibrahim were both managed by Shafee. Indeed, over the past few weeks Shafee has been publicly roasted by a high court judge for having claimed to be the legal representative for Deepak Jaikashan in the Altantuya cover-up, when, in fact, Deepak complained he was being blackmailed to accept Shafee as his representative to enable Najib to control his submissions in the case.

The judge threw Shafee’s out , along with this lawyer’s cooked up defence, which Deepak complained had been constructed on behalf of his secret genuine client, Najib Razak, not the actual defendant, whom he was purporting to represent.

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Malaysia’s Attorney-General Tommy  Thomas

Last year Shafee attempted to sue fellow lawyers, including the present Attorney-General Tommy Thomas (pic above), for libel over their reporting of him to the Bar Council for improper conduct over the prosecution of Anwar Ibrahim.  Shafee’s conduct during that prosecution had indeed been the subject of much concern on many levels and his libel case was thrown out by the judge on the grounds that the reporting of the matter to the Bar Council was well justified.

So, this allegedly duplicitous pair are now to be the key players in the upcoming headline grabbing trial where Najib is defending himself against charges brought by none other, of course, than Tommy Thomas.

On the matter of payments, Sarawak Report has already revealed that Najib issued Shafee two cheques totalling RM9.5 million in late 2013 and early 2014, from one of the suspect SRC funded accounts that are at the centre of this trial.

The reason for those two payments have never been explained, although they coincided with the period during which Shafee usurped the role of the public prosecutor in the Anwar case, which he claimed he had performed for free as a public service to the nation.

He has yet to comment whether he will be taking a fee to defend Najib. However, what is certain is that any writer would be hard pressed make up a stranger set of circumstances or such a narrative of role reversals as the one about to be played out in the Malaysian High Court before the eyes of the world over coming weeks.

Copyright © 2018 Sarawak Report, All rights reserved.

The Attorney-General – The Promise and the Reality


June 5, 2018

The Attorney-General – The Promise and the Reality

The position of Attorney-General, should have gone to a Member of Parliament- cum- Cabinet Minister in the interest of public accountability and to avoid the dangers of a conflict of interest.

COMMENT

By Chandra Muzaffar

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

The appointment of Tommy Thomas as the new Attorney-General has generated renewed interest in the ruling coalition’s Election Manifesto. In the Manifesto, Pakatan Harapan has articulated lucidly in Janji (promise) 15 the importance of separating the office of Public Prosecutor from that of the Attorney-General. Because of the danger of a conflict of interest, it argues that the two roles should be separated. It pledges to take immediate action towards this end.

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The Attorney-General would be chosen from among qualified Members of Parliament and he would be appointed as a Minister serving as the legal adviser to the government. The Public Prosecutor on the other hand would have autonomy to conduct prosecution without fear or favour.

The Pakatan Harapan government has not lived up to this pledge. Thomas is not a member of parliament. He is not accountable in the legal sense to the people through an elected parliament. Of course, he is required, like all other public officials, to uphold the Malaysian Constitution. While his formal appointment is by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, his real nexus of power is with the Prime Minister. It is the Prime Minister who will exercise authority over him and direct his actions.

We have witnessed in recent times what this nexus between the Attorney-General and Prime Minister can lead to. The former Attorney-General protected Prime Minister Najib Razak though the latter’s misdeed was blatant. The A-G saw himself as serving Najib’s interests.

One of the reasons why such stark abuse of roles did not occur in the sixties and seventies was because the Attorney-General in those years was responsible to Parliament through the Cabinet. This practice was brought to an end in the early eighties with the ascendancy of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia. Parliamentary accountability was replaced with a direct relationship between the Attorney-General and the Prime Minister.

Dr. Mahathir is of the view that Thomas has the skills to fight the 1MDB case in court. If specific skills are needed the government can always draw upon the services of legal brains at home and abroad. They can be appointed as consultants or public prosecutors as they were in the past in the Batu Putih case or in the second Anwar Ibrahim trial. Tommy Thomas himself can play that role instead of installing him as Attorney-General.

The position of Attorney-General, I reiterate, should have gone to a Member of Parliament- cum- Cabinet Minister in the interest of public accountability. I had hoped that since at least ten Cabinet positions have yet to be filled and there has been no appointee so far from Sabah or Sarawak an MP from one of those states would be made the Attorney-General. Since it is a senior position it would raise the status of law-givers from those states. It would also make the citizens of Sabah and Sarawak feel that they matter to the Malaysian Federation.

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MP for Selangau, Sarawak Baru Bian–Minister of Law in M-2.0 Cabinet?

There is an MP with a legal background from Sarawak who would have fitted the bill. Baru Bian, the Pakatan Harapan MP for Selangau is an experienced advocate and solicitor who for decades has fought for native land rights. There is no reason why legislators like him — a Christian Bumiputera — should not be conferred the exalted role of Attorney-General in the Federal Cabinet.

Tommy Thomas, whatever his strengths, will continue to be burdened by concerns that have been ventilated through the alternative media. What is his record in prosecuting high profile criminal cases? How fluent is he in the national language which is after all the principal language in the administration of justice in our country? Why did he abandon the nation in the wake of the 1987 ISA swoop and the 1988 judicial crisis when some of us went to jail and campaigned against great odds for justice for the sacked judges?

Chandra Muzaffar is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Yayasan 1Malaysia.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

 

1MDB Scandal –Potential Witnesses for DOJ fear retaliation if they talk to US Investigators


September 7, 2017

1MDB Scandal –Potential Witnesses for DOJ fear retaliation if they talk to US Investigators

by Bloomberg

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Possible witnesses to the alleged looting of billions of dollars from 1Malaysia Development Bhd are too scared to talk to U.S. investigators because they fear retaliation, according the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Some people in “certain foreign countries” already assisting the criminal probe are concerned for their safety, while others say it’s too dangerous to cooperate, according to an FBI request to keep the names of its informants secret from the alleged masterminds of the 1MDB conspiracy.

Individuals who would otherwise be willing to provide information have told the government they’re worried about putting “the safety and security of both themselves and their families at serious risk,” the FBI said Tuesday in a federal court filing in Los Angeles.

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Will he squeal to save his family fortune in exchange for immunity from prosecution?

The trusts holding the assets on behalf of Low, Aziz, al Qubaisi and their families are contesting the forfeiture actions and oppose the request to put the civil cases on hold. The Low trusts have asked the U.S. to supply it with the identities of witnesses, sources of evidence, and thousands of documents that are relevant to the criminal investigation, according to the FBI.

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Kevin Morais was threatened when he did not want to accept the bribes”

The FBI cited Malaysian news reports of local officials who have been arrested because of their purported role in investigating the 1MDB embezzlement. As recently as August 30, Malaysian media reported that the driver of former Malaysian Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail was shot and wounded as a possible warning to the former prosecutor not to cooperate with the U.S., the FBI said.

Abdul Gani opened the initial 1MDB investigation, according to the FBI’s filing. He was replaced as attorney general in 2015.

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Najib Razak and Donald Trump–The Art of the Deal–Lu Tolong Gua, Gua Tolong Gua, senang saja ma

The U.S. investigation is part of a global effort to track how much of the $6 billion that 1MDB raised for development projects was embezzled or involved in money laundering. Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg are among the countries also investigating the roles played by banks and individuals.

Najib, who until last year was the chairman of 1MDB’s advisory board, has denied any wrongdoing and was cleared by Malaysia’s attorney general. Low issued a statement in June, in response to a second round of forfeiture lawsuits, saying the U.S. government was continuing “inappropriate efforts to seize assets despite not having proven that any improprieties have occurred.”

In those cases, the Justice Department alleged that a $1.29 million heart-shaped diamond and a $3.8 million diamond pendant Low gave in 2014 to his then-girlfriend, actress Miranda Kerr, were bought with stolen money.

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Low allegedly also gave a $3.2 million Picasso painting to actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who played the lead in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” a movie the U.S. says was financed Aziz using misappropriated 1MDB funds.

The case is U.S. v. “The Wolf of Wall Street,” 16-cv-05362, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

by BLOOMBERG

 

 

Former Attorney-General Abu Talib on Apandi Ali and 1MDB Scandal Cover-Up


July 30, 2017

Former Attorney-General Abu Talib on Apandi Ali and 1MDB Scandal Cover-Up

by Alyaa Azhar@www.malaysiakini.com

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Abu Talib is of the opinion that Apandi acted to the “best of his ability in the circumstances today” and that he has the power to clear the Prime Minister as “he has the evidence”.

No, Tan Sri, Apandi Ali did his best to exonerate Najib Razak.  Why don’t you ask the incumbent AG to make his evidence (of Najib’s innocence) available to the DOJ and the Malaysian public and bring the IMDB scandal to closure so that Malaysia can go forward.–Din Merican

Two years have passed since Mohamed Apandi Ali was appointed as attorney-general, but his decision to clear Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of any wrongdoing with regard to the RM2.6 and 1MDB issues continues to haunt him.

Detractors have claimed he was appointed to replace Abdul Gani Patail, who was suddenly removed due to health reasons, with the sole aim of covering-up the 1MDB scandal. Both Apandi and the government have denied this.

In an interview with Malaysiakini, former Attorney-General Abu Talib Othman shared his thoughts on Apandi’s handling of the 1MDB case.

Responding to a question, he agreed that Apandi should be more cooperative with the US authorities instead of dismissing the Department of Justice (DOJ) suit as being politically motivated. “Ideally, he should because we are talking of justice and the rights of the individual,” he said.

Abu Talib cited the case of businessman Eric Chia in which the then Attorney-General had “gone around the world collecting evidence to support the charge preferred against him”.

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The Federal Court, in 2007, however, held that the evidence obtained from Hong Kong was inadmissible. The former Managing Director of Perwaja Steel Sdn Bhd was thus acquitted of committing criminal breach of trust.

“So we don’t know what evidence he (Apandi) has, the evidence the investigating agencies were able to gather which was presented to him for a decision,” said the former AG.

‘Apandi acted to the best of his ability’

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They go to Mecca to cleanse their souls, return home to become more corrupt and then go back to the Holy Land for redemption.–Playing Monkey with God

On the same note, Abu Talib is of the opinion that Apandi acted to the “best of his ability in the circumstances today” and that he has the power to clear the Prime Minister as “he has the evidence”.

“I don’t know whether there is evidence or not. According to him, he examined the investigation papers and found the Prime Minister has not committed any criminal offence and therefore he closed the case.

“You and I don’t know the contents of the investigation papers. Maybe what evidence America has, they (the Attorney-General’s Chambers) don’t have here,” he said.

The DOJ had claimed US$4.5 billion of 1MDB funds had been misappropriated and is seeking to seize US$1.7 billion in assets allegedly acquired using the stolen money.

Apandi, however, said the suit was “politically motivated”, claiming the DOJ never made a formal application to Malaysia’s Attorney-General’s Chambers to obtain further information with regard to its claim.

Asked how he would have handled the matter, Abu Talib cited the case of former culture, youth and sports minister Mokhtar Hashim who was convicted of murder in 1983.

The former AG stressed he would make decisions based on evidence made available. “I had to make a tough decision whether or not to charge him for the murder of his colleague in Negri Sembilan. I disagreed with everybody, I said there was enough evidence. I went to court and I prosecuted him, he was sentenced to death but later it was commuted to life imprisonment.My decision was based on the evidence,” he said.

Abu Talib believes that it is convenient for people to criticise when he or she does not even know the evidence that was presented.

“As Attorney-General, I think he (Apandi) acted on, as what he said, the facts and the law applicable.

“The Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) never said they have sufficient evidence, all they said was that they have completed their investigation and submitted (the findings) to the Attorney-General,” he pointed out.

Last January, Apandi said the RM2.6 billion in Najib’s personal account was a donation from a member of the Saudi Royal Family.

In its civil forfeiture lawsuits involving 1MDB, the DOJ claimed that the money had originated from 1MDB. Najib has repeatedly denied misusing public funds for personal gain and blamed such allegations on those conspiring to topple him.

Reactions to DOJ Lawsuits reflect Ignorance of Malaysian Officialdom


June 27, 2017

Reactions to DOJ Lawsuits reflect Ignorance of Malaysian Officialdom

by Dr. M. Bakri Musa, Morgan-Hill, California

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Najib Razak, Rosmah Mansor and Riza Aziz (inset): Their Day will come,only a matter of time

America is a Rorschach Test to most foreigners. What they view as America reveals more of themselves than of America; likewise, how they react to events in America.

One visitor to Washington, DC, would see only the homeless under the bridges, potholes on the streets, and “adult” stores at very corner; others, The Smithsonian, Georgetown University, and the National Institutes of Health. The contrasting observations reflect volumes on the observers.

Consider the Malaysian responses to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuits relating to alleged illicit siphoning of funds from 1MDB. I am not referring to the kopi-o babbling in the echo chamber of UMNO-paid “cyber-troopers” that pollutes the social media. They are pet parrots; babbling whatever is coached to them. With a different master offering more leftovers they could be made to change their tune.

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Where is Mr. Lodin Wok Kamaruddin now?

What interests me instead are the responses of ministers and commentators. Their utterances expose their appalling ignorance of the American justice system. They also reveal much of themselves, as per Rorschach’s insight.

One Minister, eager to be seen as his master’s favorite lapdog, asserted that DOJ is being influenced by the Malaysian opposition. On cue, the other hounds and bitches piled on. A hitherto severe critic of the establishment pontificated that a former champion college debater together with Mahathir and Daim Zainuddin were involved.

Heady stuff for a young man! Though flattered, Syed Saddiq went ahead and filed a police report against that blogger! Mahathir described best those who believed such canards: “Bodoh luar biasa!” (Extraordinarily stupid!)

Those characters must also believe that the American judicial system is like Malaysia’s, where prosecutors could be influenced or paid off a la one Shafee Abdullah. Sarawak Report alleged that he was paid RM9.5 million from Najib’s slush fund before being appointed special prosecutor in Anwar Ibrahim’s case. Shafee has not denied that.

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The RM9.5 million Shafee Abdullah–who else are the beneficiaries of the bounty?

Another Minister declared DOJ’s charges ‘mere’ allegations. Sorry, no marks for stating the obvious. A former journalist-turn-blogger echoed that, and proceeded, for emphasis, to reprint in bold the DOJ’s caution.

Of course DOJ’s accusations, like all court complaints, are “alleged” until adjudicated by the court. DOJ must have credible evidence to not waste taxpayers’ money on frivolous lawsuits. The jury would not buy it. DOJ does not allege any Joe on the street of corruption.

Those who believe otherwise must think that DOJ and American courts are like Malaysia’s where prosecutors could be bought to bring on cases with the flimsiest of evidences and still find judges to convict, as with Anwar’s case.

That is not a far stretch. A few years ago, a defense lawyer V.K. Lingam known for his amazing ‘skills’ in getting his clients acquitted was caught on videotape assuring his listener that he had the judge in his pocket. The lawyer’s utterance, “Correct! Correct! Correct!” would forever be embedded in the annals of shame in the Malaysian Judiciary.

Then there was the character who insinuated that the ‘inactivity’ of DOJ since its first filing a year earlier reveals its sinister political motive. Had he followed the court’s calendar he would have noted the flurry of activities. Among them, the successful challenge by the new trustee of some of the seized properties to be represented.

This character went on to opine that since her initial filing in July 2016, US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch had been “fired,” implying that the lawsuit was without merit. Such willful ignorance reveals a deliberate attempt to mislead. Lynch was a political appointee, and with President Trump’s election all such appointees were replaced. Further, the second filing was by her successor.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid, a local PhD, implied that all the furor over 1MDB were fake news, the concoctions of hostile foreign media! It is instructive that this character did his dissertation on the local media. To him, the likes of The Wall Street Journal are like Utusan Melayu. His response reveals as much about him as the institution that awarded him his doctorate.

A junior minister accused the Americans of trying to topple Najib, in cahoots with the opposition. Not too long ago he and others were lapping at pictures of Najib golfing with President Obama. That minister however, did not see fit to lead a demonstration at the embassy in defense of Malaysia.

It is unfortunate that this non-too bright character’s remarks resonated with simple villagers. A senior Minister, a little brighter being that he was a London-trained lawyer, dismissed the whole DOJ affair. Malaysia had other far more important issues to attend to, he sniffed. If the staggering sums of the loot did not impress him, what about the charges of corruption levelled at the highest government official, cryptically referred to as “Malaysian Official 1.” That should be his and all Malaysians’ top priority.

Yet another minister advised everyone not to panic. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Nobody was panicking except her crowd.

Attorney-General Apandi was miffed that DOJ did not consult him. DOJ’s lawsuits were prompted to protect American financial institutions from the corrupting influences of dirty foreign funds. It does not need Malaysia’s ‘help,’ more so considering that Apandi had declared no wrongdoing.

Apandi was also upset at the criminal insinuations against the Prime Minister. His comment unwittingly revealed what he thinks of his job, less as chief prosecutor, more as Najib’s private attorney. No wonder his “investigations” exonerated Najib! Apandi also unwittingly confirmed that MO1 is, in fact, Najib and that the activities he was alleged to have been engaged in were criminal in nature.

If the responses were revealing, the non-response or silence was even more so. The lawsuits allege that billions were illicitly siphoned from the company, and it is mentioned umpteen times in the complaints. Yet 1MDB did not seek to be represented as a party of interest. This reflects its management’s inability to separate the company’s interests from those of its officers’. Najib is 1MDB’s chairman. The management confuses Najib with the company. Management is not looking after the company’s interest in not seeking representation, which was how the mess started in the first place.

Malaysian officials’ responses to DOJ’s lawsuits did not reflect well on them or Malaysia. I can hardly wait for their reactions or “spin” when this DOJ investigation goes on to its next inevitable phase, the filing of criminal charges and or when one of the defendants becomes a prosecution witness.

Meanwhile, fake news or not and collusion or not, MO1, his spouse, or stepson will not be stepping foot in America any time soon, if ever. That is revealing.

North Korea’s spy network in Kuala Lumpur–What’s Up Mr. Najib?


March 1, 2017

North Korea’s spy network in Kuala Lumpur–What’s Up Mr. Najib?

by James Pearson and Rozanna Latiff
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It is in Kuala Lumpur’s “Little India” neighborhood, behind an unmarked door on the second floor of a rundown building, where a military equipment company called Glocom says it has its office.

Glocom is a front company run by North Korean intelligence agents that sells battlefield radio equipment in violation of United Nations sanctions, according to a United Nations report submitted to the Security Council seen by Reuters.

Reuters found that Glocom advertises over 30 radio systems for “military and paramilitary” organizations on its Malaysian website, glocom.com.my.

Glocom’s Malaysian website, which was taken down late last year, listed the Little India address in its contacts section. No one answers the door there and the mailbox outside is stuffed with unopened letters.

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IGP Khalid Abu Bakar–Would you entrust this nincompoop with the safety of your cat? Think again

In fact, no company by that name exists in Malaysia. But two Malaysian companies controlled by North Korean shareholders and directors registered Glocom’s website in 2009, according to website and company registration documents.

And it does have a business, the unreleased U.N. report says. Last July, an air shipment of North Korean military communications equipment, sent from China and bound for Eritrea, was intercepted in an unnamed country. The seized equipment included 45 boxes of battlefield radios and accessories labeled “Glocom”, short for Global Communications Co.

Glocom is controlled by the Reconnaissance General Bureau, the North Korean intelligence agency tasked with overseas operations and weapons procurement, the report says, citing undisclosed information it obtained.

A spokesman for North Korea’s mission at the U.N. told Reuters he had no information about Glocom.

U.N. resolution 1874, adopted in 2009, expanded the arms embargo against North Korea to include military equipment and all “related materiel”.

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Only Emeritus POTUS Barrack Obama trusts him

But implementation of the sanctions “remains insufficient and highly inconsistent” among member countries, the U.N. report says, and North Korea is using “evasion techniques that are increasing in scale, scope and sophistication.”

Malaysia is one of the few countries in the world which had strong ties with North Korea. Their citizens can travel to each other’s countries without visas. But those ties have begun to sour after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother was murdered at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport on Feb 13.

PAN SYSTEMS

According to the “WHOIS” database, which discloses website ownership, Glocom.com.my was registered in 2009 by an entity called International Global System using the “Little India” address. A similarly named company, International Golden Services is listed as the contact point on Glocom’s website.

Glocom registered a new website, glocom-corp.com, in mid-December, this one showing no Malaysian contacts. Its most recent post is dated January, 2017 and advertises new products, including a remote control system for a precision-guided missile.

Glocom is operated by the Pyongyang branch of a Singapore-based company called Pan Systems, the U.N. report says, citing an invoice and other information it obtained.

Louis Low, managing director of Pan Systems in Singapore said his company used to have an office in Pyongyang from 1996 but officially ended relations with North Korea in 2010 and was no longer in control of any business there.

“They use (the) Pan Systems (name) and say it’s a foreign company, but they operate everything by themselves,” Low told Reuters referring to the North Koreans at the Pyongyang office.

Pan Systems Pyongyang utilized bank accounts, front companies and agents mostly based in China and Malaysia to buy components and sell completed radio systems, the U.N. report says. Pan Systems Pyongyang could not be reached for comment.

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Malaysia’s Home Affairs Minister–He has some explaining to do to Parliament. Does he really care?

One of the directors of Pan Systems Pyongyang is Ryang Su Nyo. According to a source with direct knowledge of her background, Ryang reports to “Liaison Office 519”, a department in the Reconnaissance General Bureau. Ryang is also listed as a shareholder of International Global System, the company that registered Glocom’s website.

Reuters has not been able to contact Ryang.

SMUGGLING CASH

Ryang frequently traveled to Singapore and Malaysia to meet with Pan Systems representatives, the U.N. report says.

On one such trip in February 2014, she and two other North Koreans were detained in Malaysia for attempting to smuggle $450,000 through customs at Kuala Lumpur’s budget airport terminal, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

The North Korean trio told Malaysian authorities they all worked for Pan Systems and the cash belonged to the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, according to the two sources.

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Attorney-General Apandi Ali and Head of Malaysia’s Judiciary–Two of a Kind

The Malaysian Attorney-General decided not to press charges because of insufficient evidence. A week later, the trio was allowed to travel, and the North Korean embassy claimed the cash, the sources said. All three had passports assigned to government officials, the sources said.

Malaysia’s Customs Department and the Attorney General’s office did not respond to requests for comment over the weekend.

The Pan Systems representative in Kuala Lumpur is a North Korean by the name of Kim Chang Hyok, the U.N. report says.

Kim, who also goes by James Kim, was a founding director of International Golden Services, the company listed in the contacts section of the Glocom website. Kim is director and shareholder of four other companies in Malaysia operating in the fields of IT and trade, according to the Malaysian company registry.He did not respond to requests for comment by mail or email.

The United Nations panel, which prepared the draft report, asked the Malaysian government if it would expel Kim and freeze the assets of International Golden Services and International Global System to comply with U.N. sanctions. The U.N. did not say when it made the request.

“The panel has yet to receive an answer,” the report said. Reuters has not received a response from the Malaysian government to repeated requests for comment about Glocom.

POLITICAL CONNECTION

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One of Glocom’s early partners in Malaysia was Mustapha Ya’akub, a prominent member of Malaysia’s ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). Since 2014, he has been listed as a director of International Golden Services.

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UMNO Youth’s Dato’ Mustapha Ya’akub

As secretary of the UMNO youth wing’s international affairs bureau, Mustapha fostered political connections in the 1990s with countries, such as Iran, Libya and North Korea. Glocom’s Little India address once housed a company owned by UMNO Youth.

Mustapha, 67, said he had been a Glocom business partner “many years back” and said it has been continuously controlled by several North Koreans, including Kim Chang Hyok, whom he said he knew. He did not divulge his role in the company, and denied any knowledge of Glocom’s current business.

“We thought at the time it might be a good idea to go into business together,” Mustapha told Reuters about his first meeting with his North Korean business contacts. He did not say who those contacts were or what they discussed. He denied any knowledge of Glocom’s current business.

Glocom advertises and exhibits its wares without disclosing its North Korean connections. “Anywhere, Anytime in Battlefield,” reads the slogan on one of several 2017 Glocom catalogs obtained by Reuters.

An advertisement in the September 2012 edition of the Asian Military Review said Glocom develops radios and equipment for “military and paramilitary organizations”.  A spokesman for the magazine confirmed the ad had been bought by Glocom, but said the magazine was unaware of its alleged links to North Korea.

Glocom has exhibited at least three times since 2006 at Malaysia’s biennial arms show, Defence Services Asia (DSA), according to Glocom’s website. At DSA 2016, Glocom paid 2,000 ringgit ($450) to share a table in the booth of Malaysia’s Integrated Securities Corporation, its director Hassan Masri told Reuters by email.

Hassan said he had nothing to do with Glocom’s equipment and was unaware of its alleged links to North Korea. Aside from the North Koreans behind Glocom, clues on its website also point to its North Korean origins.

For instance, one undated photo shows a factory worker testing a Glocom radio system. A plaque nearby shows the machine he is using has won a uniquely North Korean award: The Model Machine No. 26 Prize,” named in honor of late leader Kim Jong Il, who is said to have efficiently operated “Lathe No. 26” at the Pyongyang Textile Factory when he was a student.

(Reporting by James Pearson and Rozanna Latiff. Additional reporting by Nicole Nee in SINGAPORE, Michelle Price in HONG KONG and Ned Parker in New York.; Editing by Bill Tarrant.)