Friday 12 October 2012

BMF seeks Sabahan support in case against UBS

Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) has called on Sabahans to confer it with power of attorney to strengthen the case against Swiss bank UBS on alleged money laundering for Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman.

musa aman pc in sabah 190608 01“BMF needs a strong endorsement from Malaysian citizens from Sabah. We, therefore, invite you to sign the ... power of attorney (form) and return it to BMF as soon as possible. 

“The more signatures we have, the stronger our case will be,” BMF director Lukas Straumann said in a statement yesterday.

"No legal obligation or costs arise for you if you sign the ... power of attorney.

"It only shows you are endorsing the case and are allowing BMF to represent your interest against UBS in this matter," he said.

Straumann said the names of the signatories would be sent to the Swiss attorney-general and gave his assurance that the names would not be made public or used for other purposes.

The relevant document was emailed out to canvass support, and copies may be obtained directly by contacting the organisation.

Straumann added that BMF has applied to be a private plaintiff in the case, and that would allow it access to case files, “in order to closely monitor the case and to further pressure UBS and the Swiss authorities”.

He added that they are claiming a symbolic indemnisation of 5,000 Swiss franks (RM16, 000), which they promised to use for a project in Sabah.

NONEBMF lodged a criminal caseagainst UBS on Aug 29, 2012, for alleged money laundering linked to Musa and his cronies.

According to whistleblower website Sarawak Report, leaked MACC documents suggest that Musa Aman had issued timber licences to his brother, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, and that the CM’s two sons had received kickbacks from timber tycoon Michael Chia (right with Musa).

‘Nazri’s defence suggests complicity’ 

On Aug 14, 2008, Chia was arrested in Hong Kong, while attempting to smuggle RM40 million in Singapore dollars to Malaysia.

However, Musa has denied all accusations directed at him, saying he has “no business association whatsoever with an individual named Michael Chia”.

Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz defended Musa in Parliament, saying in a written reply that the RM40 million Chia was caught with were funds meant for Umno Sabah.
NONEBMF, in a separate response to Nazri’s “stunning statement”, said it was shocking that the government saw no wrong in the transaction.

“The Bruno Manser Fund is shocked by Nazri’s claim that Hong Kong-laundered Umno funds, which were secretly cashed in from logging companies in return for favours, should not be linked to corruption,” BMF said.

“Nazri statements reveal the extent of collusion with illegal logging by the highest levels of the Malaysian government.”

BMF also appealed to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Al-Muadzam Shah to appoint an independent special prosecutor order to investigate what it sees as “the failure of Malaysia’s legal and political system in this matter”.

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