Who is Zainab Mohd Salleh, the mysterious woman linked to the LCS scandal?

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PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli believes he has unearthed the Zainab Mohd Salleh linked to Malaysia’s latest financial scandal — the RM9 billion littoral combat ships (LCS) procurement deal.

The former Pandan MP took to Facebook and his blog today claiming to have proof the woman exists, boldly and publicly publishing social media posts showing the woman whom he insists is the second wife of Datuk Abdul Latiff Ahmad, a minister tasked with special functions in the Prime Minister’s Department.

The federal Opposition politician who has made a name for himself in exposing dubious government contracts further claimed to be able to show the zig-zaggy paper trial that links this Zainab to one of the companies that is said to have benefited from the LCS deal.

“Dr Latiff Ahmad established a company called Mega P Asia Sdn Bhd (registration 1163389-W) on 23 October 2015.

Firdaus Latif

“Mega P Asia Sdn Bhd was also named in the Forensic Report of the LCS Project as one of the companies linked to Dr Latiff Ahmad who profited from the country’s sea defence projects,” Rafizi said quoting Paragraph page 97 of the declassified forensic audit of the LCS project by the Boustead Heavy Industry Corporation (BHIC).

According to Rafizi, Mega P Asia Sdn Bhd was established by Latiff and one Thierry Barrier.

The Ismail Sabri government recently declassified a forensic audit report into the LCS project by BHIC after the scandal as part of its move towards institutional reform and transparency.

The forensic audit report had identified a French national, Thierry Georges Andre Barrier, as an involved person in the procurement contract, where invoices for the naval asset was crisscrossing the globe as part of a fraudulent scheme.

One of the companies that was linked to Latiff’s second wife Zainab, and the LCS scandal, was France-based Alizes Marine Limited.

According to Rafizi, invoices to Alizes Marine Limited were sent to another company with a different address.

“This reinforces the claim that Dr Latiff Ahmad was involved in a fraudulent scheme using false invoices involving Alizes Marine Limited, as the invoices were linked to Thierry Barrier (as reported in the LCS Project Forensic Report),” he said.

Rafizi also claimed to have documents proving that Latiff and Zainab were the majority holders of Mega P Asia Sdn Bhd.

“Information on Form 68 (details of shareholders of a company) for the year 2017 filed with the Malaysian Companies Commission (refer to ‘6A’) shows that Dr Latiff Ahmad holds 105,002 shares and Zainab Mohd Salleh holds 245,000 shares in Mega P Asia Sdn Bhd,” he said.

He posted what he said were audited financial report of Mega P Asia Sdn Bhd for the financial year 2016 that showed the company is actually run by Zainab.

“This evidence is enough to confirm that Zainab Mohd Salleh is the (second) wife of Dr Latiff Ahmad and the duo were involved in Marine Alizes Limited which was named in the Forensic Report of the LCS Project as a company that embezzled up to RM210 million of funds from the LCS project.

“If it is true that Zainab Mohd Salleh is not the (second) wife of Dr Latiff Ahmad as mentioned in the LCS Project Forensic Report, why did Dr Latiff give the majority shares and allowed Zainab Mohd Salleh to control Mega P Asia Sdn Bhd, the company he founded and got contracts worth millions of ringgit from Ministry of Defence projects?” Rafizi asked.

Rafizi first alleged Zainab as the second wife of Latiff yesterday.

He claimed she was the owner of Alizes Marine Ltd and that the company was also named in the Panama Papers as well as the Paradise Papers, two controversial lists that was supposedly leaked and detailed how offshore companies were hiding money gained from illicit activities around the world.

Latiff was deputy defence minister from 2008 to 2013.

The Bersatu politician has denied that the Zainab reported in the media as linked to the LCS scandal is his purported second wife. – MMO