KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — A RM2 billion initial loan from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) to SRC International Sdn Bhd was credited to one of the company’s bank accounts before it was subsequently moved out without the board’s knowledge of the existing account, the High Court heard during Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial today.
Upon being made aware of the revelation through bank documents presented in court, former SRC International director Tan Sri Ismee Ismail looked troubled after seeing the materials before acknowledging that the board was unaware of the account’s existence during cross-examination by Najib’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh.
According to bank documents presented in court previously, SRC International’s first AmIslamic Bank current account (2112022009-736) was registered at Ambank’s Jalan Raja Chulan bank branch on January 28, 2011, with only two persons named as its signatories, directors Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and Vincent Koh Beng Huat.
The company then opened another AmIslamic Bank current account (2112022010-650) at the same branch on November 10 the same year which had included Ismee as among four other authorised signatories.
Harvinderjit: Three days after an August 2011 meeting with SRC International’s board of directors, Nik Faisal signed a letter for KWAP to draw down the RM2 billion facility to account-736.
Harvinderjit: We are moving to a more serious transgression. The (SRC International) board was never told about the drawdown to put RM2 billion to an account (the board) never knew about.
Ismee: It appears to be that way.
Harvinderjit: I can see that Tan Sri (Ismee) is disturbed, but it is what it is. Look at the entries for August 2011 (in the AmBank account’s statement) in the name of SRC International, where an amount of RM2 billion in four tranches of RM500 million each was credited into this account on August 29, 2011.
Harvinderjit: Also noted on the same day, the entire RM2 billion was also debited out.
During the opening of account-736, SRC International’s board of directors had not been formed yet.
Nik Faisal only became the company’s managing director after Ismee was appointed a director while Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi was appointed as the chief executive when the board was formed on August 1, 2011.
Later, Ismee also agreed that Nik Faisal did not specify where the RM2 billion had been transferred to and neither he has knowledge of where it went.
When suggested that account-736 was never under the control of the board during his tenure as director by Harvinderjit, Ismee replied in the affirmative.
Harvinder: And this (ending) 736 account, throughout the time you were director (in SRC International), was never under the control of the board?
Harvinderjit: If the board didn’t know about it, it couldn’t be under the control of the board, correct?
Harvinderjit: By not disclosing the existence, (it is) a measure to ensure board control of the account owned by SRC is bypassed, correct?
When asked if he knew who the signatories of account-736 were, Ismee replied in the negative but agreed with Harvinderjit that Shahrol Azral could have been one of those who opened the account.
Ismee later then affirmed that the initial RM2 billion loan from KWAP was deposited in an account where the board has no control.
“The KWAP loan was disbursed into an account which the board had no control over,” Harvinderjit said.
“Correct. It’s what you said earlier,” Ismee replied.
During the course of the trial, witnesses have testified that KWAP gave a total of RM4 billion in loans to SRC International, with money allegedly flowing through other companies before being transferred into Najib’s accounts.
Nik Faisal misled SRC board over status of launching grant
Later, Harvinderjit asked Ismee another transaction in account-736 which took place on August 15, 2011, totalling RM15 million whether he knew the source of the money.
Ismee then replied that the money was part of the RM20 million launching grant provided by the federal government’s Economic Planning Unit (EPU).
Harvinderjit then pointed out that Nik Faisal had during a board meeting on August 23, 2011, said the RM15 million was credited in but untouched whereas in reality a total of RM16 million was transferred out of the account on August 16.
“That means on August 23, Nik Faisal was not being truthful with the money,” Harvinderjit said of Nik Faisal’s dishonesty to which Ismee agreed.
Ismee then added the board was not informed of where the RM16 million had gone to and neither Nik Faisal nor Shahrol Azral had mentioned anything about the launching grant.
Ismee is the 39th prosecution witness of Najib’s ongoing trial involving seven charges of abuse of position, criminal breach of trust and money-laundering over RM42 million of SRC International’s funds.
The trial before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali resumes at 9am tomorrow, with Ismee to take the stand again.