Since the world's media continues to pay rapt attention to Malaysia's massive 1MDB scandal, the question has come up regarding just how many individuals allegedly involved in the theft of the $4bn from the fund hold Citizenship by investment (CBI) passports issued by Malta.
We note that a Jordanian national, Shaher Awartani a/k/a Ahmad Shaher Moh'd Awartani has been reported holding a Malta CBI passport, and that sources have verified this through a review of the Malta Register of new citizens. Awartani is a principal in a Middle Eastern construction company alleged to have received $66m in stolen 1MDB funds. he is reportedly under investigation by a number of countries. 1 MDB is a state-owned fund intended to perform good works in Malaysia.
Awartani is reportedly a partner of the UAE Ambassador to the United States, who has also been linked to the 1MDB scandal. When the news that Awartani held a Malta CBI passport, and was involved in the 1MDB theft, appeared in Malta's press, many Maltese nationals openly questioned how he had ever passed the due diligence investigation necessary to qualify for a passport, as his passport was issued years after the scandal broke. There are ongoing criminal investigations in the United States, Singapore and Switzerland. Awartani's relationship with the principal plotter, Joh Low, was exposed when an unknown party stole a large number of emails between the two of them, as well as the Ambassador, and other individuals suspected of having received a portion of the stolen funds.
We wonder how many other players in the 1MDB theft hold Malta CBI passports ?