Ex-CFO confirms billions of 1MDB went to Najib’s bank accounts, but ex-PM never mentioned the funds | Malaysia

Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the High Court Complex in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 2022. — Photo by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 – Billions of ringgit belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had been deposited in two bank accounts belonging to former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, but he never disclosed it in meetings, said confirmed today by a court witness.

Former 1MDB CFO Azmi Tahir confirmed today that he personally never received a single sen of embezzled or embezzled funds from 1MDB, but instead agreed that the charts of cash flows out of 1MDB entities and documents presented to him in court showed that 1MDB money had gone into Najib’s AmBank accounts.

Azmi said this while testifying as the 12th prosecution witness in Najib’s trial for the embezzlement of over RM2 billion of 1MDB funds.

Senior Prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram showed several charts showing how money belonging to 1MDB passed through several entities before finally reaching two AmBank accounts, which Azmi said were AmBank accounts identified on documents as being under the name Najib.

The first cash flow chart that Sri Ram presented to Azmi showed that US$5 million (approximately RM15 million at the time) from a subsidiary of 1MDB was eventually transferred to an AmPrivate bank account ending by 2009694 between October 30 and October 31, 2012. , and that just over RM75 million from another subsidiary of 1MBD was transferred to this same account between November 19 and November 20, 2012.

Azmi confirmed that this AmBank account was not his, but confirmed from another document that this account number was in Najib’s name.

Sri Ram: All these sums belong to 1MDB as you can see. Can you confirm, by looking at the documents, who received these sums?

Azmi: It says here that the account belongs to Datuk Seri Najib.

Sri Ram: Were you ever aware that he was siphoning off money like that?

Azmi: No.

Sri Ram: Sums belonging to 1MDB, you were not aware?

Azmi: No, I wasn’t aware.

Sri Ram then showed another cash flow chart from another subsidiary of 1MDB where around US$680 million or the equivalent of over RM2.081 billion had gone through a series of transactions before ending up in the same account. AmBank ending in 2009694 via nine transactions. between March 21 and April 10, 2013.

Azmi again confirmed that he could see that the beneficial owner of this account was Najib.

When Sri Ram asked again if Azmi was aware that Najib had allegedly siphoned off these funds, Najib’s lawyer Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh objected saying that this question would not be fair when asked to this stage of the witness’s testimony.

Sri Ram then asked if Azmi was aware that Najib had received those funds, and Azmi replied, “No, I am not.”

Azmi also confirmed that Najib never disclosed at any of the meetings that he received these funds.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram at the Court Complex in Kuala Lumpur on February 18, 2021. — Photo by Firdaus Latif
Senior Deputy Attorney General Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram at the Court Complex in Kuala Lumpur on February 18, 2021. — Photo by Firdaus Latif

Sri Ram showed that a $250 million bank loan that a subsidiary of 1MDB took out in 2014 ultimately allowed more than RM4.093 million of those borrowed funds to be paid into an AmPrivate Banking AmIslamic bank account whose the issue ends with 1880.

Sri Ram also showed how a bank loan of US$975 million that 1MDB had taken ended up with the money circulating through different entities, before some of those borrowed funds amounting to around US$45 million RM only went in 2014 via four transactions to the same bank account. with the issue ending in 1880.

Confirming that a bank statement shows that this bank account ending in 1880 also belonged to Najib, Azmi again stated that he was unaware that this money had been received by Najib.

Sri Ram then asked: “In any of your meetings with him either as a member of the management or as a member of the board or at any meeting of the board or at any you had with him, did he disclose that he received those funds?

Azmi replied, “No, never.”

The transactions Sri Ram showed Azmi today were related to the second, third and fourth phases of a scheme in which 1MDB funds were misappropriated.

On the first day of the trial, the prosecution said they would show that 1MDB funds were transferred in several transactions to Najib’s accounts, namely US$20 million equivalent to RM60,629,839.43 or more. of RM60 million of the first phase, US$30 million equivalent to RM90,899,927.28 or more than RM90 million (second phase), US$681 million equivalent to RM2,081,476,926 or more RM2 billion (third phase) and sterling transactions equivalent to RM4,093,500 and RM45,837,485.70 or a combined total of RM49,930,985.70 million or more than RM49 million (fourth phase ).

The total funds of 1MDB which the prosecution had said proved to have entered Najib’s accounts during the four phases would amount to a total of RM2,282,937,678.41, or more than 2.28 billion. from RM.

Previously, in April 2022, former 1MDB director Tan Sri Ismee Ismail was shown the transactions of the first, second and fourth phases, and confirmed in court that these millions of ringgits – owned or borrowed by 1MDB – had ended up in two AmBank accounts that belonged to Najib. Ismee had confirmed that the two accounts ending in 1880 and 9694 were those of Najib, based on documents presented to him in court.

Previously, in September 2020, Sri Ram showed former 1MDB CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi a summary of several major 1MDB-related transactions that resulted in funds totaling US$681 million paid into an Ambank account with account number ending in 9694 between March 21, 2013 and April 10, 2013, these operations being part of the third phase.

Ismee was the 13th prosecution witness in this trial, while Shahrol Azral was the ninth prosecution witness.

Azmi stressed today that he had no
Azmi stressed today that he ‘definitely’ did not conspire with the now fugitive Low Taek Jho – whom he considered Najib’s representative for 1MDB’s business – and other members of 1MDB’s management to siphon money from 1MDB. — Photo via Facebook

Azmi stressed today that he ‘definitely’ did not conspire with the now fugitive Low Taek Jho – whom he considered Najib’s representative for 1MDB’s business – and other members of 1MDB’s management to siphon money from 1MDB.

Sri Ram then asked if any of the actions that Azmi did in the second, third and fourth phases saw him gain financial benefit from 1MDB’s money or financial benefit from Low, to which Azmi replied: “Certainly not”. .

Azmi confirmed today that he did not know if there were any arrangements Najib had with Low regarding the use of 1MDB funds, and also confirmed that Najib never reprimanded him for following the instructions of Low and had never interrogated him for carrying out Najib’s instructions. assistant Datuk Azlin Alias ​​when it comes to 1MDB business.

Earlier, Azmi said that Low was not a random person he met on the street, but was someone introduced by Najib’s assistant Azlin and that he had believed that Low was a legitimate representative of Najib in the 1MDB business.

Azmi also previously stated that Low told him that all of Low’s and Azlin’s instructions were “mandates” from Najib, adding that he then checked with Azlin that Low’s instructions were correct.

Najib’s 1MDB trial before High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes tomorrow.


Shawanda H. Saldana