Edge’s CEO Tong Kooi Ong pays 8.2 million to Justo for 1MDB stolen data

Malaysiakini reported that Edge Media Group chairman paid 8.2 million RM to Xavier Andre Justo for the allegedly stolen 1MDB data.

Justo who  allegedly stole the data from PetroSaudi due to pay dispute confessed to the crime. He allegedly then tried to sell the data to various parties including The Edge and Sarawak Report’s Claire Rewcastle Brown. Justo also tried to use the stolen data to blackmail his employer PetroSaudi to pay his dues.

PetroSaudi reported to Thai authorities who then charged Justo and sentenced him to 18 months in prison. Justo then claimed he did not steal the data, nor has explained why he had in his possession confidential data which he tried to sell. 

In 2016, Justo sued Tong Kooi Ong for 2 million USD for the data he provided that Kooi Ong did not pay him for. The stolen data which Justo obtain when working as an IT Manager for PetroSaudi was allegedly an agreement between Justo, Kooi Ong and Sarawak Report’s Claire Rewcastle Brown.

Protection Group International (PGI) managing director Brian Lord said in 2015 that the data was inconsistent and unreliable based on a security audit done by PetroSaudi using PGI. He also had question the way Justo appropriated the Petrosaudi data and threatened them for money. 

Justo is now hailed as a hero by the Pakatan Harapan government for his role in exposing the 1MDB saga. It also remains a mystery why Justo did not follow normal whistle-blowing procedures of PetroSaudi nor make a police report of the alleged 1MDB crime but tried to sell the information instead. 

While Pakatan Harapan government still claims monies from 1MDB were stolen, to date, no parties have been convicted of the crime. Former prime minister, Najib Razak, who Pakatan Harapan claimed stole 42 billion RM, was merely charged with money laundering of 2.6 billion RM donation he received from the Saudi government.

It is also a widely known legal provision that improperly obtained information is not admissible in court. So while Pakatan Harapan government can continue to claim monies were stolen, they would be hard pressed to use Petro Saudi’s information to prosecute any related parties if any.

Justo’s claimed expertise is also odd when he had no direct exposure to the deals of PetroSaudi, Jho Low, Najib Razak. Justo’s role was an IT Manager in a company. Many wonder how then he now plays a role of an “1MDB expert”. Justo just lacks the credibility as a witness.

While various Pakatan Harapan leaders continue to play up the “kleptocracy” stories, the public have been underwhelmed of late due to the lack of progress, mainly due to the fact Pakatan Harapan claimed that they had indisputable information that money was stolen but as of yet has not charged anyone of theft. 

Various audits done by professional audit firms have confirmed that no money was stolen from 1MDB. Many now believe that 1MDB was Pakatan Harapan’s election ploy which it continues to play.

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