Thai police: alleged blackmailer of Saudi oil firm confesses

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai police say a Swiss man has confessed to blackmailing his former employer, a Saudi oil exploration company, by threatening to reveal documents with information about alleged financial wrongdoing linked to the Malaysian government.

Thai national police spokesman Lt. Gen. Prawut Thawornsiri said Thursday that Xavier Justo, 49, confessed he threatened to reveal what he claimed was confidential information that would cause great damage to the company, PetroSaudi International. Justo was arrested on June 22 in Thailand following a complaint by PetroSaudi International and is in jail awaiting formal charges.

Although Justo is accused of blackmailing the Saudi company, embarrassment seems more evident in Malaysia because of alleged connections between PetroSaudi and Malaysian state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, which is facing serious financial problems.