Rosmah’s trial: Maybank official confirms RM6.5m withdrawn at bank branch where alleged ‘cash stuffed into bags’ happened

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 10, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 10, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — A Maybank official today told the High Court that a total of RM6.5 million in cash was withdrawn in 2016 and 2017 from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd’s Saidi Abang Samsudin’s personal account at the Maybank Medan Tuanku branch — a branch previously named by other individuals in court as being the place where bundles of cash were stuffed into bags.

Maybank Medan Tuanku branch’s assistant manager Low Ai Lin, 51, was testifying as the 11th prosecution witness in Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s trial, where the latter is accused of having received RM6.5 million in bribes from Saidi.

Low said that Saidi had personally opened a personal current account at the Medan Tuanku branch of Maybank on March 27, 2009.

Low then verified the cash withdrawals totalling RM6.5 million through two cheques.

Based on a statement of Saidi’s account for December 2016, Low said that the account’s opening balance for that month was RM626,952.81, and that a sum of RM6 million was transferred on December 20, 2016 into the account from another local bank’s account.

“I confirm that on December 20, 2016, there was cash withdrawal of RM5 million from this account. This is because there was a record of “Cash Withdrawal” through cheque number 198979 which means cash withdrawal,” she said when referring to the account statement, confirming that this was done at a bank counter.

Referring to a statement of the same account dated September 30, 2017, Low then went on to confirm a cash withdrawal on September 7, 2017 of RM1.5 million through a cheque with the cheque number 169589.

“Based on this statement, I confirm this cash withdrawal was done at the Maybank Medan Tuanku branch,” she said, adding that the statement showed that Saidi’s account was very active.

Low said she had checked the records on this current account of Saidi on July 18, 2018, confirming that it was still active and had a balance of RM416.26 on that date.

Maybank Medan Tuanku assistant manager Low Ai Lin is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 10, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Maybank Medan Tuanku assistant manager Low Ai Lin is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 10, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

Transactions above RM25,000

Low explained that bank customers with current accounts have to come with cheques to a Maybank branch if they want to make withdrawals.

She said that Maybank customers could make cash withdrawals using cheques at any bank branch if the amount to be taken out does not exceed RM25,000.

“However, withdrawals at other branches are limited to cheques of RM25,000 only. If the cheque’s value exceeds RM25,000, customers have to deal with the original branch which is the branch where the customer opened the account,” she said.

The signatures

During cross-examination by Rosmah’s lawyer Azrul Zulkifli Stork, Low was asked to compare the signature that Saidi had provided on a signature specimen card to Maybank when opening the account in 2009, against Saidi’s signatures on his 2016 and 2017 cheques to withdraw the RM5 million and RM1.5 million respectively.

Low confirmed that the signatures on the two cheques were different in appearance from the 2009 signature, further agreeing that Maybank would usually not clear cheques if the signatures were different.

Low was then again asked by the prosecution to compare Saidi’s signature on the March 27, 2009 specimen card, against the signatures on the cheque dated December 20, 2016 to withdraw RM5 million and the cheque dated September 7, 2017 to withdraw RM1.5 million from Saidi’s account.

When asked by deputy public prosecutor Idham Abdul Ghani if there have been any complaints about these cash withdrawals up to now, Low said there were no complaints made.

Low did not testify and was not asked about the alleged incidents in 2016 and 2017 where cash was stuffed into bags after money was withdrawn by Saidi.

Previously, two prosecution witnesses had testified that they had assisted Saidi in putting bundles of cash into bags at this bank branch.

Witnesses have previously also said these bags were subsequently delivered to places such as Pavilion Residences in Kuala Lumpur and then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s residence at Langgak Duta in Kuala Lumpur.

Separately, Maybank Medan Tuanku’s former chief teller Azimah Aziz had also previously testified of having been present to hand over RM5 million and RM1.5 million on December 20, 2016 and September 7, 2017 to Saidi, after the latter cashed in two separate cheques for those amounts at this bank branch.

Azimah had also testified that Saidi had placed these funds totalling RM6.5 million into bags carried either by him or his companion.

Today is Day 12 of Rosmah’s trial, where she is facing charges of having allegedly solicited RM187.5 million in bribes from Saidi, and of having allegedly received a total RM6.5 million in bribes from Saidi in exchange for helping his company Jepak Holdings secure a RM1.25 billion contract from the Education Ministry.

Rosmah’s trial before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan resumes tomorrow, with former Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad expected to testify as the 12th prosecution witness.

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