KUALA LUMPUR – Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) was fully aware of and had consented transactions of political funds worth billions in and out of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bank accounts, the High Court was told today, Monday April 29, 2019.
According to a key witness, R. Umma Devi, the transactions took place in stages between 2011 and 2013.
Tan Seri Zeti Akhtar Aziz was then BNM Governor.
Zeti is now a key member in Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s inner administration circle.
Umma Devi is the manager of AmBank’s Jalan Raja Chulan. in which former Premier Najib had opened several private accounts in January 13, 2011 to manage the political funds, which was worth approximately RM2.751 billion.
She told the court that BNM was alerted under the Ringgit Operations Monitoring System in February, 2011 on the imminent incoming political funds.
BNM and Zeti were fully aware about all details of the political funds, including the source.
The 1st fund worth USD98 million, which was approximately RM310.66 million according to exchange rate then, was deposited into a Najib’s account in 2011.
The 2nd fund worth USD98 million, which was approximately RM298.9 million according to exchange rate then, was banked into a Najib’s account in 2012.
Based on bank records, the 3rd fund worth USD680 million, which was approximately RM2.142 billion according to exchange rate then, came into a Najib’s account just before the 13th General Election (GE13) in 2013.
Post-GE13, a few months later, Najib had instructed the bank to remit out USD620 million from his account and return the money to the same account that deposited the funds.
Revealing all these, Umma Devi, the 21st witness of the graft trial, testified that Najib had transferred RM162 million of the political funds to a new account number ending 880.
Najib’s account that received the funds was closed on Aug 30, 2013.
During the cross-examination, the defence suggested to Umma Devi that the funds were from Saudi Arabia ‘s Ministry of Finance in Riyadh and Prince Faizal Turki, son of the late King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Although Umma Devi did not rule it out, she told the court that the senders’ names can best be confirmed by the bank’s remittance department.
Najib is facing six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT) in the transfer of RM42 million to his account from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former unit of 1MDB.
He is also accused of abusing his power as Prime Minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc.
He was charged with committing the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd in Jalan Raja Chulan and the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011, and Feb 10, 2015.
The trial is being presided by Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. – NTHQiBord, 29 April 2019.