29 April 2019
KUALA LUMPUR: A sum of RM1.9bil was credited into one of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s private bank accounts between 2011 and 2013, the High Court heard.
Part of the money was purportedly a donation from one “Prince Faisal al Turki” and the Finance Ministry of Saudi Arabia.
This was confirmed by AmBank manager R. Uma Devi during cross-examination by Najib’s counsel Harvinderjit Singh.
Harvinderjit: Refer to this email of bank statement ending 694. Are these transactions from “Prince Faisal al Turki”?
She agreed that parts of the money, including RM304mil in 2011 and RM756mil in 2012, came from “Prince Faisal al Turki”.
She also agreed that another amount was RM324mil, which was credited from Saudi’s Finance Ministry to Najib’s account.
To a suggestion, Uma Devi agreed that a letter of instruction purportedly written by Najib on July 30, 2013, had instructed that the donation money be returned to the owner (Prince Faisal Al Turki).
Harvinderjit: On the basis of the letter, it was clear the bank knew the amount of money credited was a donation?
Uma Devi: Yes.
The High Court also heard that Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd, a unit of SRC International Sdn Bhd, was subjected to closer scrutiny by a bank as it was a high-risk account.
Uma Devi said AmBank flagged Gandingan Mentari as high risk, thus the account was put on monthly monitoring from the compliance department.
The witness was testifying in cross-examination in the corruption trial of the former prime minister accused of misappropriating RM42mil in SRC International funds.
During cross-examination, Harvinderjit asked the reason why the Gandingan Mentari was considered high risk when it was a new account.
Uma Devi replied that even without much transaction history, risk could still be computed based on certain factors and the category of the business.
“There are some companies that handle lots of cash, like law firms, or have criteria that would get flagged as high risk,” she said.
The witness, however, was unable to explain what entailed in the monitoring as she was not with the compliance department.
(According to credit reporting agency CTOS [ctoscredit.com.my], Gandingan Mentari’s nature of business is wholesale of a variety of goods without any particular specialisation, real estate activities with owned or leased properties, stock, share and bond brokers.)
Previously, Affin Bank processing officer Rosaiah Mohamed Rosli testified that Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd received RM45mil from an AmIslamic Bank account belonging to Gandingan Mentari in two transactions over two days in December 2015.
Ihsan Perdana is the corporate social responsibility unit of SRC International.
Unauthorised cheques won’t be honoured, says banker
11.20am – Ambank’s relationship manager could not have asked employees in the bank’s cheque processing centre to allow a cheque signed by an unauthorised signatory to be honoured, says Ambank Raja Chulan branch manager R Uma Devi.
She says this during cross-examination by defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh.
The lawyer is cross-examining the witness over seized bank documents and the authorisation of transactions within those files.
The documents were seized from Ambank’s Jalan Raja Chulan branch on July 6, 2015.
Harvinderjit: How is a cheque (related to one of the accounts linked to Najib’s case), signed by a person not authorised by the bank, honoured by the bank? This is extraordinary.
Can an RM (Relationship Manager) have control over this, (for example) talk to someone in the cheque processing centre?
Uma Devi: No, as the person who ensures the payment goes through would be liable as a result.
It is unclear which cheque Harvinderjit is referring to from the transactions within the seized bank documents.
The witness also says that the account folders held by the bank are secure and cannot be tampered with, except by someone from the bank.
Gandingan Mentari account considered ‘high risk’, subject to extra monitoring
11.50am – Ambank Raja Chulan branch manager R Uma Devi testifies that Gandingan Mentari’s account with Ambank was a high-risk account subject to additional monitoring by the bank’s compliance department.
Gandingan Mentari is a SRC International subsidiary.
During cross-examination by defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh, the witness says that this high-risk aspect is calculated by the bank based on its system’s criteria.
Harvinderjit: The bank does not have the prior transaction history of Gandingan Mentari?
Uma Devi: It (the high-risk assessment) could still be computed by the (Ambank) system.
Harvinderjit: What difference would it make if it is tagged high-risk?
Uma Devi: There would be more monitoring by the compliance department, which will constantly go through the accounts.
The witness added that the bank’s compliance department would implement monthly checks on the account.
KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – The High Court in Malaysia has dismissed former prime minister Najib Razak’s application to strike out the charges in his corruption trial.
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ruled that the charges against Najib were not structured in a way that could mislead or prejudice him to the point he could not put up a proper defence.
“There is no suggestion that the accused is misled or confused,” he said, adding that there are no defects in the charges.
He said Najib’s claim that the charges are unclear and that there has been abuse of court process is unsubstantiated.
As such, the judge said, the claim by the defence that the charges are unclear and there being abuse of the court process is unsubstantiated.
Nazlan also said the prosecution had given many documents to the accused to raise any defence during the case, and that he could not claim prejudice.