Friday, March 23, 2018

Petrosaudi-1MDB scandal:Is Mastercard buying itself Barak Obama protection

by Ganesh Sahathhevan 

Yesterday  in Sydney:

Welcome back to Australia President

FORMER US President Barack Obama stands to earn a massive AUD 1.3 million for his lightning speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand. ... Obama's official engagement last night was a speaking appearance for Mastercard at the Art Gallery of NSW before he next heads to Singapore and Japan.

While Mastercard, who are one of the major sponsors of Obama's trip Down Under, would not reveal how much he is being paid, the Divisional President of Australasia Richard Wormald told the Telegraph: 'We are delighted to be able to support President Obama's visit to Australia and New Zealand to enable local leaders to gain insights from one of the most revered leaders of our time.'


Mastercard USA chairman implicated in Saudi prince's theft from Malaysian SWF

by Ganesh Sahathevan
Richard Haythornthwaite, the chairman of Mastercard,  has been implicated in the money laundering scheme involving Prince Turki Al-Saud previously reported here. As reported, that scheme has involved the apparent theft of billions of dollars from the Malaysian sovereign fund, 1 MDB Bhd.
The investigate news site Sarawak Report in its latest edition of an ongoing investigation into Turki's Petrosaudi has reported:

If I knew I wouldn’t tell Sarawak Report

Given the mounds of evidence now apparent about the collusion of PetroSaudi in the 1MDB heist masterminded by Jho Low and this latest proof from Good Star’s own incorporation records, Sarawak Report wrote last week to the company’s President, the prominent British businessman Rick Haythornthwaite.
Haythornthwaite is also the Chairman of the UK energy giant Centrica.  We asked if he knew of PetroSaudi’s letter claiming that it owns Good Star and if he had authorised the company to make such a claim?
In his response to Sarawak Report 's editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown Haythornthwaite said among other things:
Dear Mrs Rewcastle
Having now done some research into your background, it is clear that you are an active campaigning blogger rather than an objective journalist with a desire to understand the true facts behind this matter. That your email to me contains fundamental factual errors – not least suggesting that I am, or have ever been, chairman of PetroSaudi International – reinforces my concerns about your credibility.
Therefore, even if I were to be in possession of information relevant to your query, I would be unwilling to assist you in your questionable activities.

Haythornthwaite's apparent denial is interesting  given this disclosure of his CV in  the Network Rail Infrastructure Limited  2012 Annual Report :
Rick Haythornthwaite Chairman
 Rick Haythornthwaite, 55, has been the Company’s Non-Executive Chairman since July 2009 having joined the Board in March 2009 as a Non-Executive Director. He was Chief Executive of Invensys plc, from 2001 to 2005. He was also previously Group Chief Executive of Blue Circle Industries and spent 18 years with BP in various senior roles. He is currently Non-Executive Chairman of MasterCard Inc, a Senior Advisor to STAR Capital Partners and President of PetroSaudi International (UK) Ltd. His previous non-executive roles included Board membership of ICI, Land Securities and Lafarge. In the voluntary sector, he is Chairman of the Southbank Centre and Chairman of the World Wide Web Foundation. Rick will retire from the Board at the Company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on 19 July 2012. Appointed 23 March 2009

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While Haythornthwaite might get away with saying "  even if I were to be in possession of information relevant to your query, I would be unwilling to assist you in your questionable activities" to Rewcastle-Brown's Sarawak Report, it is not a position he can maintain with regards Mastercard, its shareholders, and the relevant authorities, in the US, UK and other jurisdictions that are investigating the 1 MDB matter.

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