Israel Discount Bank (IDB) adalah lokasi terbaik dana ini disimpan. Mahathir sekalipun tidak akan mencari di sini.
Funds were poured from central holding stations, always offshore, in the form of seed capital, SWIFT transfer, and financial investments, mainly to four other banking centres: Islamabad, Geneva, Tel Aviv, and Hong Kong, which over time became self-sustaining. From there, each banking centre moved multi-denominated currency into opaque management funds, usually but not always run by Al Baraka, Hong Leong, Bank Al-Taqwa (a specialised Wahhabi institution that funds terrorism in the Middle East), and other more obscure institutions such as the Panama affiliate of PKB Bank of Pakistan, which was run by the veterans of Pakistan’s notorious BCCI before it shut down.
That money, when it was allowed to flow back into Malaysia as dividend income for nominees or as investment capital for front companies, or occasionally, as cash, would be vital for Anwar’s political projects – unseating Ghafar, attempting to topple Mahathir, even, in 2008, attempting to purchase Dewan Rakyat MPs from Sabah and Sarawak before the bungled September 16 promise came crashing down.
When it came time for Anwar to draw on enormous sums – such as when he was crushing Ghafar, and making his move on Mahathir – there was “a great big sucking sound,” in the words of one of the compilers of the I-Files, a Yank who had served two tours of duty in KL, as money was drawn from across the globe, through a very particular bank – one we all thought was dead and buried.
“Israel Discount Bank,” the Malay said after a long pause. It was the third day of this lengthy debrief meeting, and by now everyone was on a less tense and more friendly basis. Drinks had been had, meals shared, and the first part of the Aussie’s consideration delivered as promised.
“Anwar’s hatred of Jews never precluded making money off of them, and he’s long supported finance in Israel as a means to an end. IDB was the perfect location for funds – Mahathir would never look there, and with his radical leanings, no one would imagine Anwar would keep a penny there. They had the expertise, the discretion, and the international connections Anwar needed. And no one could ever trace any of the funds back to Anwar, because some of the companies used in transfers were regular, even respectable, and none owned by Anwar. So, no — no fingerprints at all. IDB could honestly say it knew nothing. As always, there was plausible deniability for both Israel Discount Bank and for Anwar.”
The Malay paused to catch his breath before speaking again. “The masterstroke,” he said, “Was keeping that wire line open from IDB to Pakistan.”
The trail of money from Tel Aviv led to a run-down back alley in a Lahore slum. The fellow who went to investigate this part was an American with combat experience in three theatres, a former Navy Seal who spoke Arabic and Urdu as smoothly as he spoke English, and whose numerous knife scars around his liver were a testament to his longevity. His hand-selected team were men of similar disposition, including a Gurkha. Their stories alone would make an engrossing read, but for their sakes, I leave their story to their own telling.
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