PetroSaudi exec arrested over 1MDB leak was paid over $5.4 million to leave company

PETALING JAYA - Former PetroSaudi exec Xavier Justo was paid the equivalent of 140mil baht (S$5.56 million) to leave the company after he was found to have "behaved against the company's rules and regulations," said Pol Col Akaradech Pimonsri, acting commander of the Royal Thai Police's Crime Suppression Division.

Pimonsri is quoted in Thailand's Bangkok Post as saying that Justo, 49, later demanded another 90mil bath from the company in exchange for not disclosing confidential information to rival companies.

Justo, a former IT executive at the company, was arrested at a house at Koh Samui on Monday, allegedly for leaking information information to the London-based Sarawak Report website for several reports about 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

He has denied these allegations.

"We are relieved that Mr Justo will now face justice through the courts. We have been the victims of a regrettable crime that has unfortunately been politicised in Malaysia.

"We are happy to finally set the record straight and we apologise to the Malaysian people for the harm that one of our unscrupulous ex-employees has caused to them," a spokesperson for PetroSaudi said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Royal Thai Police's crime suppression division had reportedly seized numerous computers, hard drives, and other evidence from Justo's residence after obtaining a court ordered search warrant.

PetroSaudi said it was mulling further legal action in other jurisdictions against Justo's actions.

PetroSaudi had become embroiled in the 1MDB controversy after a joint-venture deal between the two companies was said to have been orchestrated by business tycoon Low Taek.

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