Lembaga Tabung Haji denies money laundering allegation

PETALING JAYA: Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) has denied the allegation of its involvement in money laundering case involving Prince Al-Waleed Talal, who was among dozens of high-profile figures arrested or sacked recently, in the biggest purge of Saudi Arabia's elite in its modern history.

The allegation was associated with Australia Financial Review's report in March that Crestmount Capital, a Middle Eastern fund run by Prince Khaled, son of Prince Al-Waleed, had closed a AUD$100 million investment into Sydney-based residential developer Piety Investments.

LTH said while its wholly owned subsidiary TH Properties Sdn Bhd (THP) indeed has several investments with the Piety Group in developing residential projects in Sydney, all investments are made directly by THP from internal funds.

"Under no circumstances that THP has in the past or at any material point of time, sought or secured funds from Crestmount Capital or other external investors," it said in a statement.

LTH added that THP has obtained all required regulatory approvals in Malaysia and Australia for its projects in Sydney.

Citing THP is not privy to any dealings between Crestmount Capital and Piety Group, LTH noted that the insinuation that Crestmount Capital funds are tainted has been made by the blogger alone, for which he or she must bear sole responsibility.

"The allegation that LTH and its subsidiary are involved in money laundering is false and baseless. LTH and its subsidiary reserve all rights in this matter."

LTH said it is concerned about wild and inaccurate allegations made against the group that may adversely affect its reputation and create unwarranted anxiety amongst depositors.

"LTH Group has, to its level best, ensured that its business and investments are carried out effectively in accordance with Islamic principles, through good corporate governance and best business practices giving priority to integrity, trasparency and accountability."