8 May 2019
Day 15: Shafee grills Bank Negara officer on investigation diary
I’ve power to investigate, not to examine Najib – witness
11.50am – Harvinderjit and Bank Negara officer Farhan start a fiery exchange on whether the 4th witness has the power to interview Najib in regards to the suspicious transactions seen in the former premier’s accounts at Ambank Raja Chulan up to 2015.
The lawyer asks Farhan on whether the latter, belonging to Bank Negara’s Financial Intelligence and Enforcement Department, could have interviewed Najib over the transactions.
The suspicious transactions were found by Bank Negara when it raided the commercial bank on July 6, 2015. Farhan was involved in the raid.
The bank was later fined for failure to report the transactions to the central bank.
Harvinderjit: You could have interviewed the account holder (Najib)?
When the lawyer makes reference to Sections 14 and 20 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (Amla) in regard to Bank Negara’s power of examination and investigation and equates to Farhan having the power to interview Najib over the transactions, the witness proceeds to correct him.
“We are talking about examining, not investigation, my learned counsel.
“Examining and investigating are two different things,” Farhan says, triggering laughter from those present in court.
Farhan says that he only has the power to investigate, not examine the account holder Najib over the matter.,mk
12pm – Cross-examination of Bank Negara officer Farhan continues with lead defence counsel Shafee grilling him over his method of keeping records of Bank Negara raid and probe against AmBank.
Before leading to more detailed questions on files and handphones seized by Bank Negara during its raid on AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan branch in 2015, Shafee presses Farhan on investigation diary that the officer keeps detailing step-by-step of the probe.
Shafee: Do you keep an investigation diary when you investigate? When you investigate, you take statement from witnesses, you recover documents, whatever you were doing, you have to keep an investigation diary. You can call it by other names. Do you have such documents? As a system?
Farhan: Yes (I do), (it is called) investigation diary.
Shafee: (Is it in) format as per the Criminal Procedure Code?
Farhan: No. I’m not aware of the format.
Shafee: (It is) required for investigation diary.
Farhan: I’m not aware of that.
Shafee: Under what provision you maintained the investigation diary? You must know. Because your investigation diary must have a borang number.
Farhan: Sorry I have no idea.
The 4th prosecution witness told the court that he had indeed keep an investigation diary, but it was no put as a part of his investigation paper.
Farhan says the document was in his personal keeping, and agreed to Shafee’s question that the investigation diary was to make him less dependent on his memory.
The cross-examination then goes with Shafee asking Farhan about documents and handphones that were seized during Bank Negara raid on Ambank Jalan Raja Chulan on July 6, 2015.
Farhan testifies that the raiding party seized a total of 11 files from the bank, eight of which had been tendered in the court as evidence.
All the files had then been handed over to MACC, he said.
Shafee then asks Farhan on two handphones – a Blackberry and a Samsung – seized by the raiding team.
The witness testifies that the Blackberry and a report of its analysis were handed over to MACC in August 2015.
He, however, does not know what happened to the Samsung handphone.
Shafee: Did you do forensics investigation before the hand over (to MACC)?
Farhan: Personally no.
Shafee: Not personally, Bank Negara?
Farhan: I believe for the Blackberry, there was an instruction, because I saw Suzarizman handed over (the) report to MACC.
Shafee: They extracted information from the Blackberry before giving to MACC?
Shafee: Extracted info from two phones? One Blackberry, one Samsung?
Farhan: I’m not aware of Samsung
Shafee: From Blackberry?
Farhan: I saw the report.
The witness testifies that he saw the report and the items were given to MACC in Aug 2015, but did not keep a copy of the extraction report as “it was not necessary to my investigation”.
Farhan, to a question by Shafee, says he believed that Suzarizman would have the report in his keeping.
To this, Shafee goes on to ask the witness whether he would know why the report had yet to reach the defence team.
Shafee: You know why the report took so long to come? Why not coming to us now?
Farhan: I have no idea.
Shafee: You agree the report was generated from the raid. That’s what puzzled me. This was generated in 2015. Is there a reason for the delay?
There is no answer from Farhan before DPP Sithambaram interjects.
Shafee then asks Farhan if he would agree that the content of the Blackberry is important to be preserved.
SRC trial: AmBank punished for not flagging dodgy transactions in Najib’s accounts
KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — AmBank was previously penalised by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) over its failure to report suspicious transactions in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s accounts from the time these were opened until they were closed, the High Court was told today.
The prosecution’s fourth witness, BNM officer Ahmad Farhan Sharifuddin, confirmed the penalty imposed on the commercial bank after BNM raided the AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan branch on July 6, 2015.
“It was for an offence of failure to submit Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) on Datuk Seri’s (Najib) accounts (at the bank) from the opening to the closing of the account.
“The fine was issued somewhere around November 2015,” he said during cross-examination by Najib’s lawyer, Harvinderjit Singh.
Ahmad Farhan did not disclose the fine amount in court.
Najib had a total of five AmBank accounts (one savings and four current) registered with AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan branch, according to bank documents revealed in court throughout the trial.
According to verified news report in 2015, AmBank Group previously confirmed a RM53.7 million fine by BNM as a result of a breach of certain regulations under Sect 234 of the Financial Services Act 2013 and Sect 245 of the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 by AmBank (M) Bhd and AmBank Islamic Bhd, respectively.
The financial institution did not specify the reason for the fine back then.
Ahmad Farhan, a manager at BNM’s Financial Intelligence and Enforcement Department, previously testified in the trial that he was the investigating officer in charge of the central bank’s raid at AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan on July 6, 2015.
However, he said he could not pinpoint specific transactions pertaining to the STR submissions when asked by Harvinderjit.