BNM man kept documents from AmIslamic Bank for 3 years, Najib trial told

Bank Negara officer Ahmad Farhan Sharifuddin (left) with another witness Mohammad Nizam Yahya at the High Court today. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Documents seized from a bank in 2015 on alleged money laundering were only given to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) last year, a witness in the Najib Razak trial told the High Court today.

Bank Negara Malaysia investigating officer Ahmad Farhan Sharifuddin said he handed over the documents to a MACC officer on May 30 last year.

“A BNM officer obtained the documents from AmIslamic Bank Berhad on July 6, 2015,” he said when examined by deputy public prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim.

However it was not made known why Farhan kept the documents in his custody for such a long time.

On Monday, raiding officer Azizul Adzani Abdul Ghafar told the court that he had obtained eight folders, including information on four bank accounts that belonged to Najib from bank manager R Uma Dewi.

Farhan, the fourth prosecution witness, today told the court that he sent Azizul to Ambank following an order from Abdul Rahman Abu Bakar, who heads the central bank’s Financial Intelligence and Enforcement Department.

Najib is facing six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million to his account from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.

He is also accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc.

The Pekan MP was charged with committing the offences at AmIslamic Bank in Jalan Raja Chulan and the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011 and Feb 10, 2015.

Cross-examined by lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, Farhan said MACC only recorded a statement from him in April in relation to the SRC case.

He said on July 6, 2015, his superior had also asked him to go to AmIslamic Bank to investigate whether the bank had contravened its obligations to BNM under the anti-money laundering law.

“It was asked to investigate the bank accounts of Najib, SRC International, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Yayasan Gemilang 1Malaysia,” he said.

Farhan said he met the bank’s customer relations executive Joanna Yu Ging Ping at the 24th floor to get the information.

He told Harvinderjit that he had met Yu sometime in May or June in 2015 in relation to the 1MDB investigations and had seized her Blackberry mobile phone.

Farhan also said he was not sure whether he met Daniel Lee Soong Heng and Kristle Yao, also customer relations executives with the bank.

At this juncture, the lawyer asked Farhan to produce Yu’s phone as the defence wanted to inspect the e-mail exchanges she had with several people, including businessman Jho Low.

Harvinder said Yu’s communication had been reported in the “Billon Dollar Whale”, the book authored by Asian Wall Street journalists documenting the 1MDB scandal.

Deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusof objected to the request as the defence must show relevancy of the conversion to this case.

Trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allowed the defence application after hearing submissions from the defence and prosecution.

The order is that the prosecution must hand over the mobile conversations which Yu, Lee and Yao allegedly had with 11 people, including Jho Low.

Hearing continues.