According to news reports, the former deputy defence minister and present minister in the prime minister’s office, Abdul Latiff Ahmad, has issued a letter of demand to the directors of Alliance IFA (M) which produced an audit report for Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation tracing hundreds of millions of ringgit that disappeared from the scandalous LCA navy boats contract.
In that report the auditors identified the shareholder and director of some of the off-shore companies through which misappropriated cash appeared to be siphoned out as being the wife of Abdul Latiff (a defence minister at the time). The companies involved were Alizes Marine Limited (Malta) and Alizes Marine Limited (Labuan) plus another related company Sousmarine Armada Sdn Bhd, and the shareholder and director was one Zainab binti Mohd Salleh.
The report goes on to identify another company of which Zainab is a shareholder called Mega P Asia Sdn Bhd, which is linked to a subsidiary of the same name of the defence contractor Ameris France (Mega P France). Ameris was also the parent company to the official Alizes Marine France which invoiced for several million ringgit of procurement which were then paid to the offshore companies of the same name instead.
The President of Ameris France, Thierry Barrier, has denounced the offshore Alizes Marine companies owned by Zainab as “usurpers” of his own company’s identity for purposes of “embezzlement”.
Nonetheless, both Thierry Barrier and Abdul Latiff were co-shareholders with the same Zainab Mohd Salleh at Mega P Asia Sdn Bhd. In paragraph 126.96.36.199. of their report the auditors observe “It is noted that Abd. Latiff is the spouse of Zainab”.
Abdul Latiff last week issued a police report against the deputy president of the PKR opposition party, Rafizi Ramli, for publicising these facts and his lawyers now say that he has demanded a retraction from the directors of Alliance IFA Malaysia of the above statement indicating Zainab is his wife (on pain of being sued for defamation).
However, what the minister has so far failed to do is explain who Zainab Mohd Salleh is, despite having directed a company in which both he and she were the major shareholders and despite having then handed this lady all of his shares when he ceased to be director as recently as 2020.
The other shareholder and a director (until 2017) was Thierry Barrier. Both these men should know a great deal therefore about the woman whose company was responsible for siphoning millions from the Boustead contract, whether or not she was married to Abdul Latiff.
However, instead of being forthcoming, it seems all this BN minister can do is threaten whistleblowers. If there have been mistakes, then he is in a perfect position to set those straight as he plainly has the facts, having been a fellow shareholder of Zainab herself at Mega P Asia.
Sarawak Report has sent precise questions to his email at the prime minister’s office where he works to which there has been no immediate acknowledgement.
For ease we list our questions as follows:1) If you deny that Zainab is your wife can you clarify if she ever was your wife?2) Who exactly is Zainab, given companies including Alizes Marine Limited (Malta) and Alizes Marine Limited (Labuan), of which she was a shareholder and director, were recipients of hundreds of millions of ringgit worth of contracts from this defence project over which you had a political oversight?3) You clearly know exactly who Zainab is, given that after moving from the ministry of defence you went directly into business with her and with Thierry Barrier the President of Ameris France of which Alizes Marine (France) was a subsidiary. This was through a company called Mega P Asia Sdn Bhd which also received contracts from Boustead Penang Shipyard, according to the auditors.From 2015 you were a director and shareholder together with Mr Barrier in Mega P, which was itself again named identically to another subsidiary of Ameris France to which Mr Barrier has said it was linked. The major shareholder was Zainab and later when you resigned from that company in 2020 you transferred your own shares to her, leaving her with 100% ownership.So, can you please confirm who this lady is, given that the missing millions make this a matter of enormous public interest in Malaysia?4) The auditor used the word “suspicious” to describe the sloppy and untoward arrangements regarding the relationship between BNS and the Alizes Marine companies, including a lamentable lack of controls over how orders were placed, invoiced and paid for. The result was that huge sums went missing. Can you explain this and do you regret it as one of the key ministers responsible for the government’s interests in this project?
The minister is not the only fellow who appears reluctant to acknowledge or deny the identity of an alleged wife or former wife. Sarawak Report has also written persistently to Thierry Barrier himself to ask him not only who Zainab is, which he must know as a director of Mega P Asia (as the auditors put it “Thierry and his company would not be able to deny their role in this conspiracy of Ameris group and Zainab”).
We have also asked him to confirm the identity of one Viktoria Barrier who was the CEO of Ameris subsidiary Alizes Marine France, which he has claimed has nothing to do with Zainab’s off-shore companies. We assume Viktoria is Thierry’s wife. However, Thierry maintains that without a full copy of the report he is unable to confirm whether or not this is the case.
Thank you for your email. Again, not having the possibility to consult entirely this report and therefore not knowing exactly what we are accused of, we stand with the statement send to you partner IOL and remain at the disposal of the Malaysian and French authorities.
Two men unable to provide clear statements about their alleged wives, both women who were directors of companies they are linked to. Whether the auditor retracts its claim about the relationship between Zainab and Abdul Latiff and whether or not Thierry obtains the full report (for ‘national defence’ reasons the UMNO/BN government redacted all the parts relating to the Alizes Marine contracts when it released the report last month) the inability of both to explain these ladies is most perplexing.