Jet Aviation confirms that the 1MDB Global 5000 is in Singapore
Jet Aviation has confirmed to Channel News Asia that a Bombardier Global 5000 linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is currently at its Singapore Seletar facility.
Malaysia’s state-owned 1MDB is embroiled in a corruption scandal, with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) alleging that over $4.5 billion had been diverted away from the fund and laundered through a series of shell companies and bank accounts run by Malaysia’s highest officers.
As part of the investigation, it was discovered that Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho had diverted $700 million from a deal between 1MDB and PetroSaudi International through a company called Good Star Ltd.
Low had personal connections to the stepson of Malaysia’s former prime minster, Najib Tun Razak, who himself is accused on eight counts of money laundering.
In a court filing in June 2017, the US DoJ says that Low Taek Jho used part of the $700 million to fund the acquisition of a 2008-build Bombardier Global 5000 for $35.4 million. The aircraft was purchased at the end of 2009, less than three months after the $700 million was moved away from the 1MDB fund.
Registered in the US as N689WM / MSN 9265, the aircraft is registered to a company called Wynton Aviation and placed into trust with Wells Fargo Bank Northwest.
Wynton Aviation is a company that was registered in the British Virgin Isles in 2009. The DoJ says that Wells Fargo’s records indicate that it is a holding company owned by Low.
The Global 5000 jet was based at Teterboro Airport NJ, close to Low’s New York home.
Pictures posted on the airliners.net website show that the aircraft had visited places including Paris, Geneva, Beijing and London.
According to various sources, the jet has been parked at Seletar Airport for almost a year.
On August 13 current Malaysia prime minster Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told a press conference that the aircraft would be flown back to Malaysia as soon as it was airworthy.
“It has been grounded for a long time, and planes that do not fly very often need to be serviced and checked. “When it can fly, we will bring it here,” said prime minister Mohamad.
The return of the jet is part on the ongoing investigation into how the 1MDB fund was run.
As well as the Global 5000, Low also purchased a $250 million superyacht. It was handed over to Malaysia by the Indonesian government in early August following a request from the US authorities.