Najib's SRC trial: Gandingan Mentari account flagged as ‘high risk’, subject to extra monitoring

AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan branch manager, R. Uma Devi, is seen at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex April 29, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan branch manager, R. Uma Devi, is seen at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex April 29, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — The account of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd was considered “high-risk” and put under stringent monitoring by AmBank, the High Court heard today.

AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan branch manager R. Uma Devi said the assessment was based on the bank’s internal criteria.

Uma Devi is the 21st prosecution witness in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s money-laundering and criminal breach of trust trial over RM42 million of funds from SRC International, a former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) unit.

“The high-risk tag will be given upon registration of the account in our bank.

“Some companies who handle a lot of cash will be tagged as such. It also depends on the sector or business nature of the company when we key the details into our system to be computed,” she said during cross-examination by Najib’s lawyer, Harvinderjit Singh.

Uma Devi also confirmed that Gandingan Mentari has only one bank account registered at the Jalan Raja Chulan branch.

When cross-examined further on AmBank having no prior transaction history with Gandingan Mentari, Uma Devi said risk will still be computed by the bank’s system despite the lack of such data.

She, however, admitted she was unable to explain what entailed in the monitoring process as she was not part of the compliance department apart from the monitoring a monthly procedure.

Uma Devi said 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.

“The person who ensures the payment goes through would be liable as a result.

“The account folders held by the bank are secured and cannot be tampered with, except by someone from the bank,” she said on the 10th day of the trial.

The proceedings before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali resumes 9am tomorrow.

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