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No sanctions against transfer of 1MDB funds to PetroSaudi, bank officer tells court

Fatehah Md Salleh says the instruction was to forward US$110 million in 1MDB funds via Deutsche Bank Trust Company America to JP Morgan Chase New York and eventually credit to a RBS Coutts Bank Ltd account.

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A bank officer told the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday that the bank she worked for found no sanctions against the US$10 million transfer from 1MDB to oil and gas company PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI) in Mei 2011.

Assistant vice-president of global market operations at Deutsche Bank (Malaysia) Bhd, Fatehah Md Salleh, 39, said that on May 27, 2011, they received documents from the front office of the global markets division regarding foreign exchange instructions for 1MDB.

Fatehah, the 22nd prosecution witness, said the instruction was to forward US$110 million in 1MDB funds via Deutsche Bank Trust Company America to JP Morgan Chase New York and eventually credit to the RBS Coutts Bank Ltd account number 11116073.2000.

The account was allegedly owned by PSI, according to a letter signed by 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi.

“We then conducted a background check on the owner of the account using the preventive crime research (PCR) system and the HotScan system on PSI and RBS Coutts, which revealed there were no sanctions against conducting the fund transfer to the company,” she said.

During cross-examination by counsel Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed, representing former prime minister Najib Razak, Fatehah confirmed that the PCR system was the bank’s internal verification system to detect red flags regarding accounts.

In a previous proceeding, the court was told that the account 11116073 was owned by Good Star Ltd, a company initially said to be a PSI subsidiary but later exposed as a company linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low.

Meanwhile, Nur Hasnee Taha Mdd Nordin, vice-president of global market operations at the same bank, said RM3.487 billion was transferred by 1MDB to Deustche Bank through five transactions on Sept 30, 2009.

Hasnee, the 21st prosecution witness, said the money was transferred by 1MDB for foreign exchange transaction purposes to buy US$1 billion (RM3.487 million), and that US$700 million was then transferred to RBS Coutts and the remaining US$300 million deposited into JP Morgan’s account as instructed by 1MDB.

Nur Hasnee also confirmed the transaction from 1MDB to Deutsche Bank on May 27,2011 with a total of RM335.115 million transferred from the AmBank account owned by 1MDB, for the purpose of foreign exchange transactions to purchase US dollars worth US$110 million.

He said the funds were then transferred to JP Morgan Chase New York’s account and then to the RBS Coutts account, to be credited into the account with the number 11116073 as instructed by 1MDB to Deutsche Bank.

Najib, 68, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes worth RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial in front of judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah will continue June 13.

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