KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — Xavier Andre Justo has received a whopping RM8.2 million as a gift from The Edge Media Group chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong for exposing 1MDB scandal.
The Edge reported today that its chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong gave the gift to the 52-year-old Swiss banker when he visited the company’s office in Petaling Jaya together with his wife Laura and infant son Zander.
Tong said the gift was a gesture of appreciation for his contribution to Malaysia in exposing the kleptocracy of the former Baraisan Nasional (BN) administration.
“Without him, the wrongdoings involving 1MDB, as exposed by The Edge, would not have come to light,” he said in the report
“His family was harassed and intimidated while he was languishing in jail. No one should have to go through what he had to endure for helping to reveal the truth,” he said, in reference to Justo’s arrest in June 2015 on blackmail charges that saw him imprisoned in a Thai prison for 18 months.
Tong thanked Justo and his family on behalf of all Malaysians, adding that the latter confirmed the accusations of him stealing data to be untrue.
“My lawyers had tried to reach PetroSaudi on their past claims and they had chosen repeatedly not to respond,” he said.
The banker also expressed his gratitude to Tong, saying the gift goes a long way in helping him and his family rebuild their lives.
“I take comfort from the fact I have not suffered in vain. Malaysians got to learn the truth about 1MDB and I eventually got my freedom back,” he said.
The 1MDB saga began in March 2015, with subsequent investigations revealing that as much as US$6.5 billion (RM26.7 billion) of its funds had been stolen.
The investigations were conducted by Singapore, Switzerland and the United States, whose Department of Justice called it the largest case of kleptocracy ever discovered.
Justo also provided information to Sarawak Report, which also revealed billions more were stolen from 1MDB via a supposed joint venture between it and PetroSaudi International between 2009 and 2011.