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Najib received USD30M from Jho Low shell company, witness tells court

BERNAMA – An analyst from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) told the High Court in Malaysia on Tuesday that a personal account belonging to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak received USD30million from a shell company, Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners, purportedly set up by fugitive businessman, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan said on October 30, 2012, USD5 million was paid and another USD25 million was paid on November 19 of the same year.

“Standard Chartered Bank’s records for Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners confirmed that the beneficiary account for both transfers was account number ‘2112022009694’ held under the name ‘AmPrivate Banking – MR’ with AmIslamic.

BNM analyst Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan. PHOTO: THE STAR

“Examination on the bank statement and records dated October 31, 2012, and November 20, 2012, for the account number 2112022009694 maintained in the name of ‘AmPrivate Banking – MR and/or Datuk Seri Mohd Najib And Razak’ provided by AmIslamic, matched the transfers,” said Adam Ariff.

The 47th prosecution witness said this when verifying the money trail report at Najib’s trial involving the alleged misappropriation of MYR2.3 billion of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds. It was reported that Jho Low set up Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners, a shell company with a similar name to real estate private equity firm, Blackstone Real Estate and he (Jho Low) deliberately used a naming convention for offshore shell companies built by him to resemble well-established companies in his conspiracy to siphon millions of dollars from 1MDB.

Earlier, Adam Ariff confirmed the MYR60.6 million received by the accused in his personal bank account on February and June 2011 originated from Islamic medium-term notes (IMTN) bond issued in 2009 by 1MDB predecessor, Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA). TIA was renamed 1MDB on September 25, 2009.

On the first day of trial on August 28, 2019, the prosecution had said it would show that 1MDB funds had been transferred in multiple transactions to Najib’s accounts, namely USD20 million or over MYR60 million from the first phase and USD30 milllion or over MYR90 million in the second phase.

The prosecution will also show USD681million or over MYR2billion had been transferred in the third phase and transactions in British pounds that were equivalent to a combined total of over MYR49 million during the fourth phase.

Najib was seen in his suit and tie in the courtroom on Tuesday, while his few supporters were seen sitting in the public gallery in the courtroom.

Najib faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to MYR2.3 billion belonging to 1MDB and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount. The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.

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