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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal AmIslamic bank account only had around RM484 in 2011 before a total of RM60 million of funds originating from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) entered his account, the High Court heard today.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) analyst Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan said this while testifying as the 47th prosecution witness in the then prime minister’s trial over 1MDB’s RM2.28 billion which were alleged to have entered the former finance minister’s personal bank accounts.
Based on multiple bank documents, Adam Ariff showed the money trail of how US$905 million of 1MDB’s funds at AmIslamic Bank was sent to Low Taek Jho’s company Good Star Limited’s RBS Coutts bank account, before US$24.5 million trickled down to a “Prince Faisal bin Turki bin Bandar Al Saud” and with US$20 million or RM60 million ultimately being sent to Najib’s bank account.
In February and June 2011, the Riyad Bank account held by “Prince Faisal bin Turki bin Bandar Al Saud” had instructed for two separate batches of US$10 million to be sent to Najib’s AmIslamic Bank account which had the account number 211-202-200969-4 and the codename of “AmPrivate Banking-MR”.
This resulted in two separate sums of over RM30 million (RM30,449,929.97 and RM30,179,909.46) being sent to Najib’s account AmPrivate Banking-MR on February 23, 2011 and June 13, 2011, or a total of RM60,629,839.43 or RM60.6 million entering Najib’s account.
Asked by deputy public prosecutor Kamal Baharin Omar what was the last balance in Najib’s AmPrivate Banking-MR before the RM30 million sum came in on February 23, 2011, Adam Ariff said it was RM484.80, based on the bank statement for the account during that period.
As for when the second sum of RM30 million came in, Adam Ariff said the last balance in Najib’s account before this amount came in was over RM26 million, also basing this on the bank statement for the account.
Adam Ariff said the bank account opening form for the AmPrivateBanking-MR account stated Najib to be the account holder and the document was dated January 13, 2011.
Adam Ariff today highlighted how quickly money in Good Star’s account moved to the Prince Faisal account and subsequently to Najib’s account, saying it showed that the Prince Faisal account was likely just an account where the money originating from 1MDB and 1MDB’s companies passed through to reach the former prime minister’s account.
Based on bank documents, Good Star’s RBS Coutts account on February 18, 2011 sent US$12.5 million to Prince Faisal’s Riyad Bank account while the Riyad Bank account then sent US$10 million on February 23, 2011 to Najib’s account, with Good Star’s RBS Coutts account on June 10, 2011 having sent US$12 million to Prince Faisal’s account before the Riyad Bank account sent US$10 million on June 13, 2011 to Najib’s account.
“The Riyad Bank account transferred funds to the AmPrivate Banking-MR account within one to three business days after Good Star sent funds to the Riyad Bank account,” Adam Ariff said when reading from his report on the money trail.
For the first transaction, Adam Ariff said Good Star had sent US$12.5 million on a Friday to Prince Faisal’s account and Najib had received from Prince Faisal’s account an amount of RM30 million equivalent to US$10 million on Wednesday, while the second transaction also saw Good Star sending US$12 million on Friday to Prince Faisal’s account before Najib received RM30 million equivalent to US$10 million on the following Monday.
“Based on the proximity between the dates that Good Star sent the funds to the Riyad Bank account and the dates the Riyad Bank account sent funds to the AmPrivate Banking-MR account, as well as the proximity of the value of funds sent to the Riyad Bank account and the value of funds it transferred to the AmPrivate Banking-MR account, it is reasonably believed that the Riyad Bank account was used as a pass-through account to transfer monies from Good Star, originated from the subject matter,” he said.
Today, Adam Ariff also said Good Star’s RBS Coutts account had only received six incoming funds between September 30, 2009 and June 10, 2011, namely four transfers totalling US$905 million from 1MDB and two transfers totalling 91 million Swiss franc (CHF) from PetroSaudi International Limited (PSI) director Tarek Obaid. Tarek himself had also received funds from 1MDB, based on Adam Ariff’s money trail.
For Good Star’s RBS Coutts account which was opened in early June 2009 with its beneficiary owner being Low (better known as Jho Low), Adam Ariff said Good Star’s bank account balance was “zero” before it received the first fund transfer of US$700 million from 1MDB on September 30, 2009.
Good Star later received three separate sums from 1MDB in the form of US$30 million (May 20, 2011), US$65 million (May 23, 2011), and US$110 million (May 27, 2011), and two sums from Tarek in the form of 82 million CHF and 9 million CHF on September 24, 2010 and October 1, 2010.
Throughout the trial, Najib’s lawyers have been arguing that he believed the RM2.28 billion which entered his bank accounts were donations, and had produced four letters from a purported Saudi prince which promised huge sums of money as gifts.
The four purported letters addressed to Najib are dated February 1, 2011 with a purported promise of a gift of US$100 million, followed by a November 1, 2011 letter promising a gift of US$375 million, a March 1, 2013 letter promising a gift of US$800 million and a June 1, 2014 letter promising £50 million. Three different variations were used to sign off these letters, namely “HRH Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud”, “Saud Abdulaziz AL-Saud”, and “Saud Abdulaziz Al Saud”.
The prosecution had previously however argued that all four alleged Saudi donation letters are “worthless documents” and said that other courts had found the same letters to be a fabrication.
On the first day of trial on August 28, 2019, the prosecution said it would show that funds from 1MDB’s US$700 million sent to Good Star in 2009 eventually resulted in US$20 million being sent to Najib (in two batches of US$10 million respectively on February 24, 2011 and on June 14, 2011).
On the first day of trial, the prosecution had said it would show that 1MDB funds had been transferred in multiple transactions to Najib’s accounts, namely US$20 million equivalent to RM60,629,839.43 or over RM60 million from the first phase, US$30 million equivalent to RM90,899,927.28 or over RM90 million (second phase), US$681 million equivalent to RM2,081,476,926 or over RM2 billion (third phase), and transactions in British pound that were equivalent to RM4,093,500 and RM45,837,485.70 or a combined total of RM49,930,985.70 million or over RM49 million (fourth phase).
Najib’s 1MDB trial before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah is set to resume tomorrow morning, with Adam Ariff expected to continue testifying.
Najib was seen in his usual suit and tie attire in the courtroom today, while his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was seen sitting in the public gallery in the courtroom.