Kuala Lumpur, June 13 — The Kuala Lumpur High Court today heard that over RM45.8 million was transferred into Najib Razak’s personal AmBank account via Vista Equity International Partners Ltd (Barbados) between October and December 2014.
Ambank (M) Bhd treasury operations department vice-president, Salmah Daman Huri, 50, in her witness statement, said the funds totalling £8,706,021.92 (RM45,837,485.70 according to the conversion rate at the material time) were transferred into the former prime minister’s account ending with 880 in five transactions.
Vista Equity is a shell company owned and controlled by Eric Tan, a trusted associate of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.
“A sum of RM30,032,250 was transferred on Oct 23, 2014, and RM3,624,473.70 and RM 11,567.57 on Nov 24 and 26 respectively.
“Two other transactions of RM5,360,065 and RM6,809,129.43 took place on Dec 10 and 18,” Salmah, the 23rd prosecution witness, said at the former prime minister’s trial for the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion in funds from 1MDB.
Salmah also confirmed five documents, all showing transfers from Vista Equity through Amicorp Bank and Trust Ltd, Barbados via Standard Chartered Bank, London before they reached the same “AmPrivate Banking-1MY” account ending with 880.
On the first day of the trial, the prosecution said it would show that 1MDB funds were 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 in the second phase; US$681 million, equivalent to RM2,081,476,926 or over RM2 billion in the third phase; and transactions in British pounds equivalent to RM4,093,500 and RM45,837,485.70 or a combined total of RM49,930,985.70 million or over RM49 million in the fourth phase.
During cross-examination by Najib’s counsel Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed, Salmah admitted that no red flags were raised by Bank Negara or AmBank when the transactions took place.
She added that she was unaware that the account ending with 880 belonged to Najib at the time and that she only knew about it during the investigation.
Salmah also testified that she could not confirm that the foreign exchange transactions came from Najib as her department dealt with the account holder’s relationship manager in these transactions.
When re-examined by senior deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram, Salmah said usually the bank would send bank statements to customers at the end of the month to notify them of the balance amount in their account.
To another question by deputy public prosecutor Najwa Bistamam, she said Najib never raised any reports about the said transactions to the bank.
Najib, 68, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.
The trial before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow.