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Najib received US$30 million 1MDB funds in 2012, court hears

A Bank Negara Malaysia analyst says the money was remitted in two tranches: US$5 million on Oct 30 and US$25 million on Nov 19, 2012.

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Former prime minister Najib Razak, escorted by security personnel at an appearance in court. Photo: Bernama
Former prime minister Najib Razak, escorted by security personnel at an appearance in court. Photo: Bernama

An analyst from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) told the Kuala Lumpur High Court that a personal account belonging to Najib Razak received US$30 million from a shell company, Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners, purportedly set up by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan, 29, said on Oct 30, 2012, a sum of US$5 million was paid, and another US$25 million was paid on Nov 19 of the same year.

"Standard Chartered Bank's records for Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners confirmed that the beneficiary account for both transfers is account number '2112022009694' held under the name 'AmPrivate Banking - MR' with AmIslamic.

"Examination on the bank statement and records dated Oct 31, 2012, and Nov 20, 2012, for the account number 2112022009694 maintained in the name of 'AmPrivate Banking - MR and/or Datuk Seri Mohd Najib And Razak' provided by AmIslamic, matched the transfers," said Adam.

The 47th prosecution witness said this when verifying the money trail report at Najib's trial involving the alleged misappropriation of RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds.

It was reported that Jho Low set up Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners, a shell company with a similar name to real estate private equity firm Blackstone Real Estate, and he (Jho Low) deliberately used a naming convention for offshore shell companies built by him to resemble well-established companies in his conspiracy to syphon millions of dollars from 1MDB.

Earlier, Adam confirmed the RM60.6 million received by the accused in his personal bank account in February and June 2011 originated from an Islamic Medium-Term Notes (IMTN) bond issued in 2009 by 1MDB's predecessor, Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA). TIA was renamed to 1MDB on Sept 25, 2009.

On the first day of trial on Aug 28, 2019, the prosecution said it would show that 1MDB funds had been transferred in multiple transactions to Najib's accounts, namely US$20 million or over RM60 million from the first phase and US$30 million or over RM90 million in the second phase.

The prosecution will also show US$681 million, or over RM2 billion, has been transferred in the third phase and transactions in British pounds that were equivalent to a combined total of over RM49 million during the fourth phase.

Najib was seen in his usual suit and tie attire in the courtroom today, while his few supporters were seen sitting in the public gallery in the courtroom.

Najib, 70, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3 billion belonging to 1MDB and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow.