SRC trial: Bank Negara man says found Jho Low’s name in phonebook of Najib’s bank manager

Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Financial Intelligence and Enforcement Department analyst Suzairizman Shuib is pictured at Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur July 11, 2019. —Picture by FIrdaus Latif
Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Financial Intelligence and Enforcement Department analyst Suzairizman Shuib is pictured at Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur July 11, 2019. —Picture by FIrdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11— A Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) officer found fugitive financier Low Taek Jho listed among contacts in a BlackBerry device seized from an AmBank relationship manager in charge of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal accounts, the High Court heard today.

BNM Financial Intelligence and Enforcement Department analyst Shuzairizman Shuib explained that the smartphone had belonged to AmBank banker Joanna Yu and was seized during a raid at Level 24 of the AmBank Group Building along Jalan Raja Chulan in Kuala Lumpur on July 6, 2015.

“Two days later (on July 8) after the raid, I received a request by BNM investigating officer Ahmad Farhan Sharifuddin to run an analysis or digital extraction on the Blackberry phone which belongs to Yu.

“I then noticed Jho Low’s name among the data extracted from the phone,” he said during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul, and using Low’s more commonly used name.

Prosecution witness and Ambank branch manager, R. Uma Devi, previously testified in court that Yu was the relationship manager assigned to liaise with Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, who was also the SRC International Sdn Bhd chief executive Najib had authorised to manage all five of his AmBank bank accounts.

Ahmad Farhan, another prosecution witness, also testified in court previously that he received instructions from department director Abd Rahman Abu Bakar to instruct the forensic team to extract data from the devices seized.

Shuzairizman also confirmed that he was given instructions by Abd Rahman to collect devices from Yu and two bankers during the July 6, 2015 raid, but conceded he could not remember the specifics.

Today, Shuzairizman explained that the data extracted from Yu’s device was then transferred to a DVD while BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) conversations stored in the smartphone were also printed out for further investigation.

Apart from the BlackBerry, Shuzairizman said he also confiscated four thumb drives, an external hard disk and a Samsung Galaxy phone belonging to three Ambank bankers, including Yu.

He named the other two bankers from whom he was assigned to collect the digital devices as Krystle Yap and Daniel Lee.

Following the data analysis and extraction, the BBM was given to Ahmad Farhan who then passed it to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for custody whereas the other seized devices are still kept in a locker at BNM.

Shuzairizman also said Ahmad Farhan had contacted him between April and May this year to extract information from Yu’s BBM after the central bank received a court order to do so.

“He (Ahmad Farhan) showed me names. They were Joanna, Krystle, Daniel and Jho Low,” he said.

During cross-examination by Najib’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, Shuzairizman was asked about the contents of the confiscated devices and if there were any communication logs.

He replied that there were only work documents and some personal photos that were not relevant to the investigation.

“There were personal photos beside working documents... Joanna’s work stuff (working documents of proposals), related to what she does,” he said.

According to Shuzairizman, MACC investigating officers were subsequently provided with a 500-page bundle of files extracted from the devices.

Shuzairizman also denied the leakage of the WhatsApp or BBM messages from Yu’s BBM that were published in several news articles by the Wall Street Journal in 2015.

Shuzairizman said apart from him, only the MACC has copies of the message transcripts from Yu’s BBM.

“The leakage definitely did not come from me,” he said.

Shuzairizman is the 46th prosecution witness in Najib’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 hearing before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali resumes with Shuzairizman’s cross-examination at 9am on July 15.