Funds from Jho Low-linked firms to Najib were for 'loan purposes', says witness

Najib exiting the elevator at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

Shuzairizman Shuib, the 46th prosecution witness, waving to the media at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

Prosecution witness no 24: Wedani Senen (right). Photos by Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Yusuf/The Edge

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (July 15): Transactions from accounts linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho — better known as Jho Low — into the AmBank account of Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2015 included transaction details which described them as loan payments, and not donations as the former prime minister had claimed previously.

This was confirmed by the 24th prosecution witness in Najib's SRC trial Wedani Senen, the AmBank electronic transfer and securities unit manager who was called into the witness stand again today.

The transactions in question — from Vista Equity International Partners (Seychelles) and Blackrock Commodities Global Ltd — amounted to over RM50 million between June and December 2014.

Two of the transactions included the descriptions for 'loan' purposes, Wedani told senior prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram during her re-examination.

"Is there anywhere that says the purpose of payments were gifts or donation?" asked Sithambaram.

"No," said Wedani.

The US Department of Justice has identified the two entities — Blackrock Commodities and Vista Equity — as being owned by one Eric Tan, who was later revealed to be Jho Low using his close associate's identity, according to news reports.

Blackrock Commodities is not tied to US fund management firm Blackrock Inc.

Funds transferred into Najib's AmBank account

Date From Amount (£) Amount (RM) Purpose
June 19, 2014 Blackrock Commodities Global Ltd 750,000 4,093,500 not stated
Oct 21, 2014 Vista Equity International Partners (Seychelles) 5,750,000 30,320,250 not stated
Nov 21, 2014 Vista Equity International Partners (Seychelles) 694,343.62 3,624,273.7 not stated
Nov 24, 2014 Vista Equity International Partners (Seychelles) 2,216.01 11,567.57 not stated
Dec 5, 2014 Vista Equity International Partners (Seychelles) 995,000 5,360,065 loan purposes
Dec 18, 2014 Vista Equity International Partners (Seychelles) 1,264,462.29 6,809,129.43 loan purposes
TOTAL   9,456,021.92 50,218,785.7  

Earlier, defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh suggested to the 46th prosecution witness, Shuzairizman Shuib that the three AmBank relationship managers — Krystale Yap, Joanna Yu and Daniel Lee — would have communicated through BlackBerry, Whatsapp and Telegram chatting apps.

This was after Harvinderjit highlighted certain parts where one person told Yu via Blackberry messenger that the person will send a Whatsapp message to Yu, which implies she has a Whatsapp application, and another where Yu said she will Telegram the person she was communicating with.

In response, Shuzairizman, who is Bank Negara Malaysia's financial intelligence and enforcement department analyst, said it is 'most likely' that the three AmBank managers use the three apps, though he cannot recall.

At that time, Sithambaram alleged the defence of conducting a fishing expedition, and requested the court to ask Harvinderjit to identify what he was looking for as the prosecution witness has already produced the communications record deemed related to the trial.

Harvinderjit pointed out that it is impossible to seize data from three people who communicated with each other, and then extract information from one person but found nothing from the other two.

"They're saying there is nothing? There must be communication," said Harvinderjit, after which High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali gave a time limit to Harvinderjit to conduct Shuzairizman's cross-examination.

See also:
SRC borrowed RM4b from KWAP — and must repay more than RM9.2b
Najib used SRC funds to pay credit card bills which include RM3.3m shopping spree at Swiss jeweller