Jho Low tried to woo AmBank staff into working for SRC, court told

Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court in Najib Razak’s corruption trial heard today that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho made an unsuccessful attempt to woo several AmBank staff to work for SRC International Sdn Bhd for monthly salaries of up to RM60,000.

Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping said Low, popularly known as Jho Low, made the offer while scouting for a chief financial officer (CFO) for SRC International.

“He offered a salary of up to RM60,000 but we did not take up the offer,” she said when cross-examined by defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh.

The lawyer had been referring to a record of chats via Blackberry Messenger which she had had with Jho Low over SRC International affairs.

He was attempting to show the court that although Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil was CEO of SRC International, Jho Low had played the dominant role in the government-linked company in relation to its accounts with AmBank.

In the chat with Yu, Jho Low said he was looking for a CFO for SRC International and asked if he could recruit her subordinate Daniel Lee for the position.

Yu told the court that Jho Low had also offered job opportunities to others in her team.

Apart from Yu and Lee, an individual by the name of Kristal Yap had also handled the accounts of Najib and SRC International.

Yu, the 54th prosecution witness, has been in the witness stand for six days.

The defence is attempting to demonstrate that Yu, Lee and Yap worked with Jho Low to manipulate the accounts of Najib and SRC International without their knowledge.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is still searching for Nik Faisal and Jho Low as part of its probe into the former 1MDB unit.

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.

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 (KWAP).

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.

The prosecution’s case is that RM123 million from SRC International’s account, comprising a portion of the RM4 billion loan from KWAP, was first deposited into Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd.

Gandingan Mentari then sent the same amount of money to Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd, with RM42 million finally deposited into Najib’s private current account with AmBank between Dec 24, 2014 and Feb 6, 2015.

The hearing continues before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.