Bank exec advanced RM55,000 when Najib’s account was in deficit, court told

Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court in Najib Razak’s SRC International corruption trial heard today that a former AmBank relationship manager once advanced RM55,000 of her own money when one of the ex-prime minister’s current accounts was in deficit.

Joanna Yu Ging Ping said this happened when either fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or his associates failed to deposit cash into Najib’s account when it was overdrawn.

The defence is contending that between June 2014 and March 2015, a total of RM12.7 million was deposited in 19 tranches each time the accounts were in deficit.

Najib had three new current accounts with AmBank opened in July 2013.

Defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh, who was cross-examining Yu, suggested that on one occasion, she could have advanced RM55,000 when the account number ending with 906 was overdrawn. This would have meant that any cheque issued by Najib would be dishonoured.

The lawyer suggested that Yu had used RM55,000 of her own money to cover the deficit, which she initially denied.

Harvinderjit then referred to a record of chats via Blackberry Messenger she had had with Low, better known as Jho Low, and several others including Low’s personal assistant Josie and his associate Kee Kok Thiam.

The communication indicated that Yu had attempted to contact Low, but that he had been on a plane at the time.

She also reached out to Josie and Kee, who were in Penang and Melaka respectively at the time, which was on Sept 29, 2014.

Yu said Low had contacted her later and paid her the RM55,000 the next day.

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.

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

Earlier, Yu said about £9 million (RM45 million) was deposited into Najib’s current accounts in six tranches between June and December 2014.

She said the money came from Blackrock Commodities and Vista Equity, but that the bank had raised a red flag over alleged money laundering as the deposits, made from overseas, were large amounts.

The hearing continues before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.