Najib’s trial: KWAP asked to channel RM2b loan directly to SRC’s accounts

Former assistant vice-president of Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) Amirul Imran Ahmat is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex May 2, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Former assistant vice-president of Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) Amirul Imran Ahmat is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex May 2, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — SRC International Sdn Bhd had requested Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) to deposit a RM2 billion loan directly into its accounts, although the latter had already decided to channel the money through 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the High Court heard today.

The 29th witness in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM42 million SRC International trial, Amirul Imran Ahmat, said the 1MDB subsidiary had made the request through a letter dated August 12, 2011 and addressed to KWAP’s then CEO Datuk Azian Mohd Noh.

“The purpose of the letter was to apply for the RM2 billion to be directed straight to SRC (International) as it was a subsidiary of 1MDB and also considering the loan would be backed up by a government guarantee,” he said, reading from his witness statement.

Amirul Imran worked as KWAP’s Fixed Income Department assistant vice-president from January 2011 to August 2013, and was involved in the approval procedures that went on to approve the eventual RM4 billion afforded to SRC International.

He explained how the KWAP upper management first sought approval from the fund’s Investment Panel for the direct channelling of funds, and then received a letter from the Ministry of Finance 10 days later stating the government’s approval to guarantee the RM2 billion loan to SRC International over a ten-year period.

He said the government approval letter included information that would see SRC International be involved in investments in natural resources, in line with the Loan Guarantee (Bodies Corporate) Act 1965.

Amirul Imran also touched on how KWAP had initially looked at offering SRC International a loan of only RM1 billion, following the lack of details surrounding investment plans and future business projections made available to them.

He said an email was sent to SRC International’s CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, seeking the detailed information surrounding the company, and its parent company 1MDB on June 29, during the initial stages of the loan application.

Amirul Imran said information like the corporate profile, business plan and strategies, cashflow projections and details of their investment mandates were requested from SRC International and 1MDB, asking for the information be provided on the same day.

After two failed attempts at getting details from SRC International, he said he received an email from Nik Faisal on July 1, saying he was waiting for approval for the information to be released.

“We are unable to disclose further information requested as the real estate projects are in the master planning stage of development.

“Disclosure of the detailed information requested is subject to approval of the chairman of the board of advisers and YAB prime minister for which we have sought and have not obtained clearance to disclose thus far,” said the text extracted from the email sent by Nik Faisal to Amirul Imran.

Amirul Imran’s witness statement was made available to the press.

Amirul Imran then went on to explain how KWAP’s CEO then instructed him to prepare a proposal to gain the fund’s Investment Panel’s approval for a loan of only RM1 billion.

“In usual circumstances, any application seeking loans require much more additional documentation, but despite this no documents were received by KWAP,” he said as he read out his statement.

“It has been done before, but not normal practice,” added when questioned by deputy public prosecutor.

The trial will continue before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali next Monday, May 6.