The entire thing is a mechanism for money laundering, says the deputy public prosecutor.
No logical explanation has been offered for the flow of billions of ringgit allegedly linked to 1MDB funds into Najib Abdul Razak’s personal bank accounts, the Kuala Lumpur High Court heard.
Deputy public prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin submitted this in relation to the government’s lawsuit to forfeit cash, jewellery and handbags, among other items, from the former prime minister and 17 other defendants.
During the proceedings today, Faten argued that such an explanation was required to account for the flow of billions of ringgit into Najib’s “9694” AmBank account between 2011 and 2013.
She contended that this was because the investigation by the 1MDB case investigating officer (IO) R Rajagopal and anti-money laundering case IO Supt Foo Wei Min showed a circuitous money trail from the sovereign wealth fund to Najib’s personal accounts.
She pointed out that despite over RM2 billion of the said amount returned to an entity called “Tanore”, the remainder was then paid out to various entities encompassing business concerns, political parties and individuals.
Faten noted that part of this remainder ended up in Najib’s other personal account, the “1880” AmBank account.
“The entire thing is a mechanism for money laundering,” she claimed, contending the proceeds were tainted monies.
“There is no logical explanation or reasonable one as to why this account is receiving such large amounts of money, except for the first respondent (Najib) saying they are funds from the king of (Saudi) Arabia. That is all we could find in his averment,” she added.
She contended that there was no further explanation on how these monetary flows were not part of the laundering of illicit proceeds.
Faten also argued that there was no explanation on why the alleged “donation” was returned to Tanore.
The hearing before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan will resume on April 1 and 23, as well as on June 18.
Branded watches, cash
On May 8, 2019, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) filed a 1MDB-linked forfeiture suit against Najib and 17 others comprising individuals and companies.
The legal action for seizure involves hundreds of items including luxury handbags and 27 vehicles seized from the 18 respondents.
Najib was named as the first respondent, followed by his wife Rosmah Mansor, stepson Riza Aziz, son Nor Ashman Razak and daughter Nooryana Najwa as the second, third, fourth and fifth respondents respectively.
The others are Mohd Kyizzad Mesran, Senijauhar Sdn Bhd, Aiman Ruslan, Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia, Yayasan Semesta, Yayasan Mustika Kasih, Rembulan Kembara Sdn Bhd, Goh Gaik Ewe (the mother of fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho), former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng, lawyer Lim Hwee Bin, Kee Kok Thiam, Tan Vern Tact and Geh Choh Hun.
Kee, Tan and Geh are alleged associates of Low, or Jho Low, who is a key figure in the 1MDB matter.
Among the valuables seized on May 17, 2018, and on June 11, 2018, were 52 branded handbags, 10 watches and cash in different denominations – RM187,750 in old notes, RM21,150 in new notes, £320,500 in old notes, £2,700 in new notes, US$100, €20, S$40, 2,870,000 Sri Lankan rupees, 13,177,00 rupiah, 376 hryvnias (the Ukrainian currency), 50 francs, 10 rands, 531 riyals and 740 Philippine pesos.
Also seized on the same day were four branded watches, 171 high-end handbags and 27 pairs of shoes while 40 luxury handbags were confiscated on June 11, 2018.
On Aug 2, 2018, some 27 Nissan Urvan vehicles were also seized.
As no third parties came forward by Dec 14 to stake any claim on the assets sought, today was set for the hearing of the main forfeiture suit.
By : HIDIR REDUAN ABDUL RASHID – MALAYSIAKINI