New document leak linking Daim’s family to RM240m trust fund surfaces

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Another Daim-linked trust worth hundreds of millions.

Mukhriz Hazim

A service provider in the Cayman Islands has leaked documents linking the family of Malay tycoon and former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin to an undisclosed offshore trust with assets said to be worth hundreds of millions of ringgit, Malaysiakini reported today.

The disclosure comes amid an ongoing investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) into the sources of Daim’s wealth over the years after the Pandora Papers by the Investigative Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) in 2021.

Citing documents provided by the ICIJ, Malaysiakini reported that Daim’s wife, Toh Puan Naimah Khalid, and their two sons Muhammed Amir Zainuddin and Muhammed Amin Zainuddin, were the beneficial owners of the offshore fund called ZA Trust, with assets totalling roughly US$52.56 million (RM244.06 million) as at 2020.

According to the news portal, the amount surpasses past offshore trust assets reportedly linked to Daim that have a value of under £25 million (RM148.26 million).

The news portal also reported that ZA Trust received a loan of US$49 million (RM227.53 million) from the Adam Zeta Trust, but added that there is no information available regarding the purpose of the loan or the owner of the Adam Zeta Trust.

Malaysiakini

The leaked documents reportedly came from Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd, a Cayman Islands-based company offering services such as company formation and administration, partnership registration and administration, trust services, and directorial services.

Citing financial statements, Malaysiakini reported the value of ZA Trust had significantly increased in 2020 compared to 2019 when it gained US$42.80 million (RM198.74 million) from the “revaluation of unquoted investments”.

These investments were shares in three offshore registered companies which are Branworth Holdings Limited, Copperfield Investment Holdings Limited, and Straits Properties Holdings Limited.

The three companies are reportedly not wholly owned by ZA Trust but own properties in the United States and the United Kingdom.

According to Malaysiakini, the ownership structure of the three companies — Branworth, Copperfield Investment, and Straits Properties — involves incorporation in tax havens and layers of trusts and companies in offshore jurisdictions, making it difficult to identify the actual owners.

The news portal also reported that at least two of the three companies have connections to Daim beyond ZA Trust, through an individual that it named as Francis Donald Ventura.

Both companies owned by Ventura are also under the ownership of two offshore trusts, one of which shares the same office building as the firm managing the Daim family trust in the Cayman Islands.

According to Malaysiakini, Ventura is listed as a trustee for the UK-incorporated charity Ilham Foundation, established by Naimah in 2016, with Amir and Amin appointed as trustees in 2017.

Malaysiakini also reported that leaked documents of compliance records from Genesis Trust suggest that the beneficial owners of ZA Trust are considered “high risk” due to their relation to Daim.

Malaysiakini said the ICIJ has contacted Genesis Trust for a response to the purported leaked documents.

Malay Mail has not been able to independently obtain the reported leaked documents for verification but was able to reach lawyer Tan Sri Tommy Thomas who recently acted for Daim in his legal challenge against the MACC’s ongoing investigations.

“No comment. Please ask them directly,” the former attorney-general told Malay Mail this morning.

Malay Mail is trying to reach Daim and his family as well as the MACC for comment. – MMO