Umno top recipient of 1MDB funds via Najib, says prosecution

Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 11, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat isa
Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 11, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — The High Court here today heard that Umno is the political party that received the most proceeds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) which were misappropriated through the personal account of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin submitted that the total amount received by Umno whether at the central, state or division levels was RM514,848,878.29.

“The money trail analysis using the First-In, First-Out (FIFO) method by the anti-money laundering investigating officer Supt Foo Wei Min found that Umno is the political party that received the most proceeds from 1MDB which were misappropriated using the 9694 AmBank account belonging to Najib.

“A total of 26 political parties have received illegal proceeds from 1MDB through Najib using cheques from the AmBank 9694 account, all amounting to RM546,293,378.29,” she said at the hearing of the prosecution’s application to forfeit hundreds of handbags of various brands, watches and 27 cars that were confiscated from Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and 16 other parties.

Faten Hadni said there was no logical explanation pertaining to the flow of billions of ringgit in funds linked to 1MDB into Najib’s personal account.

“The money totalling RM2,973,896,219.96 which originated from 1MDB were deposited into Najib’s account without any justification from the commercial or business aspect. The findings of investigations carried out by the 1MDB investigating officer ACP D.Rajagopal and Foo revealed that the cash flow from 1MDB into Najib’s personal account has gone through three stages.

“Najib has received the funds misappropriated from 1MDB in three stages, namely via Good Star Limited totalling US$120 million (RM369,029,514) from Feb 24, 2011, until Aug 15, 2012, in five transactions.

“Subsequently, from Aabar company totalling US$170 million (RM523,389,779.96) from Dec 30, 2011, to Nov 19, 2012, in six transactions. The last stage was through Tanore totalling US$681 million (RM2,081,476,926) in two transactions dated March 21 and 25, 2013,” she said.

She said the money trail analysis using the FIFO method on the 9694 account belonging to Najib found that RM2,034,350,000 was returned to the Tanore account.

“There is no logical explanation as to why the account received such a huge amount of money. The respondent (Najib) said that they were funds from the Saudi King. That is all that we found in his statements. No further explanation as to how the money was not part of money laundering. 

“Your Honour, there is no explanation given as to why the said donation was returned to Tanore,” she said, adding that besides for personal usage, Najib has transferred and channelled a portion of the fund into four categories, namely his personal account ending 1880, business entities, political parties and individuals.

Faten Hadni said the money was also transferred from the AmBank 9694 account into AmBank 1880 account and the investigation revealed the use of AmBank 1880 account for layering process of the illegal 1MDB funds before the money is channelled into two other bank accounts, also belonging to Najib.

“The 9694 account was closed on Aug 30, 2013, and the balance of RM161,411,646.34 was transferred into his account (1880) that was opened on the same day. There were no usage transactions from this 1880 account, instead it was used as a layering account to transfer 1MDB’s account balance of RM161,411,646.34 into two AmIslamic Bank accounts ending 1906 and 1898 belonging to Najib.

“The FIFO method used in the money trail investigation for both AmIslamic accounts found the use of illegal 1MDB funds with similar patterns to that of the AmBank 9694 account, whereby the money was channelled to political parties, individuals and business entities,” he said.

In the forfeiture notice, the prosecution named Najib, Rosmah and their children Nor Ashman Razak Mohd Najib and Nooryana Najwa Mohd Najib; Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz (Najib’s step son); Mohd Kyizzad Mesran; Senijauhar Sdn Bhd; Aiman Ruslan; Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia, Yayasan Semesta; Yayasan Mustika Kasih; Rembulan Kembara Sdn Bhd, Goh Gaik Ewe (mother of Low Taek Jho); Roger Ng Chong Hwa (former bank officer of Goldman Sachs) and wife Lim Hwee Bin; Kee Kok Thiam; Tan Vern Tact and Geh Choh Hun as the first to 18th respondent.

Among the items mentioned in the notice included 52 handbags and 10 watches of various brands, as well as cash in various currencies including RM537,000, 2,700 Pound Sterling, 2,870,000 Sri Lankan Rupee, RM187,750 in old ringgit notes, 320,500 Pound Sterling and 13,177,00 Rupiah that were seized by the police on May 17, 2018.

The proceedings before Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan will reconvene on April 1 and 23 and the court set June 18 to hear the submissions from Najib’s counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah. — Bernama

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