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KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — The High Court here today heard that Umno and its politicians had received tainted monies traceable to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), proven based on the money trail to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bank accounts.
Deputy public prosecutor Liew Horng Bin said this was based on Najib’s Ambank accounts 9694 and 1880 and AmIslamic accounts 1906 and 1898.
“Umno and Umno politicians had received tainted monies traceable to 1MDB and they are the main beneficiaries of fraud perpetrated on 1MDB. But when tens of millions of ringgit were paid out either by cheques or direct debits from Najib’s personal accounts to Umno and its associates, surely all was not well.
“Datuk Seri Najib simply could not have the endless means to meet the funding black hole. Surely, one would question ‘where did Najib get his monies from?” he said, adding that Najib wore several hats — he was the prime minister, finance minister, president of Umno and chairman of the 1MDB board of advisors who had the final say in any business decision of 1MDB.
Liew said this at the hearing of the prosecution’s application for forfeiture of RM114,164,393.44 in cash seized from a premise owned by Obyu Holdings Sdn Bhd before judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin.
In 2019, the prosecution filed the forfeiture application against Obyu Holdings to forfeit the items including 11,991 units of jewellery, 401 watches and 16 watch accessories, 234 pairs of eyewear and 306 handbags, as well as cash in various denominations amounting to RM114,164,393.44.
Umno and Najib were the third party in the application. Any third party who claims to have any interest in items seized could come before the court to show cause as to why these should not be forfeited by the government.
Liew also submitted that since it had been shown that Umno and its associates were the reservoir for monies illegally diverted from 1MDB, in the light of the incontrovertible banking records, it was too far-fetched to suggest that Umno was lacking of knowledge or was not intentionally ignorant of the illegal source of the monies received.
“The conduct of Umno and its associates postulates a classic case of willful blindness. It was obvious that Umno did nothing as could reasonably be expected to prevent the illegal use of that tainted monies from 1MDB. Umno had instead freely and tacitly consented to the dissipation of the illegal monies it received from 1MDB through Najib’s Ambank accounts 9694 and 1880 and AmIslamic accounts 1906 and 1898.
“No matter how one looks at this, there is no escaping the fact that Umno was right in the thick of things. Its involvement and collusion in the laundering of monies traceable to 1MDB was beyond doubt.
“For that reason, this court should not countenance Umno’s argument that it does not care a tuppence if the seized cash is traceable to the misappropriated funds from 1MDB, or for that matter, any wrongdoings, when the preponderance of evidence is already all so clear to see,” he said, adding that Najib’s claim that the cash seized being political donation belonging to Umno was contradicted by the evidence from Umno.
Liew said the former premier also failed to disclose the contributor’s identity to support his claim.
“The flip-flop answers given by Najib in his witness statement, his police report and the affidavits filed for the present hearing in relation to the cash seized only point to the irresistible inference that the cash seized being proceeds from unlawful activities,” he said.
Liew also submitted that at the time of the raid, the writ of seizure was not only served on Najib but also Obyu as the owner of the property from where all the items were seized at Pavilion Residences.
“On the fact of this case, during the stage of investigation, Najib had said that the seized cash was political donation which he held in trust as the then president for Umno. Yet his claim was controverted by the top management of Umno. All the office-bearers of Umno interviewed during the investigation denied that the cash seized belonged to Umno.
“The owner of Pavilion Residences, Obyu Holdings, on the other hand, disclosed that all the seized items belonged to Datuk Seri Najib and his family. In the circumstances, there is really no way of knowing who the actual owner of the seized cash is,” he said.
Judge Muhammad Jamil fixed May 20 to deliver his decision. — Bernama