Banker Unaware If Ambank S Rm2 83b 1mdb Settlement Involved Najib Court
A bank branch manager testified that her employer Ambank reached an RM2.83 billion settlement with the government in relation to the 1MDB affair.
However, R Uma Devi - who manages the bank’s branch at Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur - was not sure whether the settlement involved former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The 37th prosecution witness said this during this afternoon’s RM2.28 billion 1MDB corruption trial against Najib, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Uma Devi (above) was replying during cross-examination by the accused’s defence counsel Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed.
As Najib looked on from the dock, Uma Devi said that she was aware of the settlement reached last year, but did not know the specific details.
Najib’s accounts - among them the one ending with 694 which is the focus of this trial - were opened at the Jalan Raja Chulan bank branch.
The bank branch was raided by Bank Negara Malaysia in the middle of 2015, where the central bank officers took away documents linked to the said accounts.
Wan Aizuddin: This settlement is in relation to 1MDB and has nothing to do with Najib’s account?
Uma Devi: I am not sure about it or the mechanics of the settlement, only know that we (AmBank) paid RM2.83 billion as settlement.
Proceedings before trial judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow.
On Feb 26 last year, the Finance Ministry - under its current minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz - announced that banking group AMMB Holdings Berhad (AmBank) has agreed to pay RM2.83 billion to settle all outstanding claims and actions in relation to AmBank Group's involvement in 1MDB.
On July 2 last year, Zafrul announced that the commercial bank had paid RM1.8 billion as part of the settlement, and the remaining payment of RM1.03 billion would be settled in December 2021 and July this year, amounting to RM515 million each.
Najib is being tried over four counts of abuse of power and 21 counts of money laundering involving RM2.28 billion from 1MDB.
Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.In relation to the four abuse of power charges, the Pekan MP was alleged to have committed the offences at AmIslamic Bank Berhad’s Jalan Raja Chulan branch in Bukit Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur, between Feb 24, 2011, and Dec 19, 2014.
On the 21 money laundering counts, Najib was purported to have committed the offences at the same bank between March 22, 2013, and Aug 30, 2013.
The prosecution contended that the wrongdoing at 1MDB was carried out by fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) and several others, with Najib’s blessings.
The accused’s defence team, however, claimed that the former prime minister had no knowledge of the crime perpetrated at 1MDB and the embezzlement was solely masterminded by Low and other members of the fund’s management.
Uma Devi previously testified for the prosecution in a separate criminal trial against Najib involving RM42 million of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.
Both 1MDB and SRC International are fully owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MOF Inc).
Najib used to be the chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisers and served as adviser emeritus to SRC International.
The Pekan MP is currently serving a 12-year jail sentence, after the Federal Court on Aug 23 dismissed his appeal against the SRC International conviction over seven criminal charges, as well as the custodial term and RM210 million fine in lieu of an additional five years in jail. - Mkini
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