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US$681 million went into Najib's account in 2013, BNM analyst tells court

Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan says the funds were transferred by Tanore Finance Corporation, believed to be controlled by an associate of Jho Low.

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Former prime minister Najib Razak, escorted by security personnel at a court hearing in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Bernama
Former prime minister Najib Razak, escorted by security personnel at a court hearing in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Bernama

The Kuala Lumpur High Court was told today that US$681 million, or RM1.89 billion, in funds originating from 1MDB entered into Najib Razak’s personal account via eight transactions in 2013.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) analyst Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan, 29, said the funds were transferred between March 22, 2013, and April 10 of the same year by Tanore Finance Corporation (Tanore), a company controlled by Eric Tan Kim Loong, who is alleged to be an associate of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low.

Previously, it was reported that Tanore received a total of US$890 million from 1MDB's subsidiary, 1MDB Global Investment Limited, via two fiduciary funds, namely the Devonshire Capital Growth Fund and the Enterprise Emerging Markets Fund, in March 2013.

Today, Adam, the 47th prosecution witness, confirmed that Tanore credited US$681 million into Najib's account between March 22, 2013 and April 10, 2013.

"According to Najib's bank statement, it was revealed that RM465,000,000 was credited via three transactions on March 22, 2013, and RM369,974,962.98 was transferred on March 28 of the same year via two transactions," he said when verifying the money trail report at Najib's trial involving the alleged misappropriation of RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds.

On April 8 of the same year, he said, Najib also received a sum of RM152,500,000 from Tanore and another RM304,000,000 and RM602,000,000 on April 9 and April 10, respectively.

On the first day of the trial on Aug 28, 2019, the prosecution contended that on March 14, 2013, Najib signed a letter of support to raise a loan through the issue of bonds by 1MDB from the Bank of New York Mellon Group in the sum of US$3 billion, and on March 19, 2013, a sum of US$2.721 billion was disbursed into the account of 1GIL with BSI Bank at Lugano in Switzerland.

From the US$2.721 billion, a sum of US$1,060,606,065 was paid into Devonshire and EEMF. Devonshire received US$646,464,649 in five tranches, while EEMF received US$414,141,416 in three tranches.

On March 21, 2013, Devonshire transferred US$430 million to Granton Property Holding Ltd, a company controlled by Eric Tan, which then transferred the whole sum to Tanore the same day.

On the same day (March 21, 2013), Devonshire transferred US$210 million to Tanore.

Then, between March 22 and 25, 2013, EEMF transferred US$250 million to Tanore, which by then had US$890 million in its account.

Between March 21 and April 10, 2013, Tanore transferred US$681 million to Najib's account.

Najib, 70, is facing 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.