Jho Low gave me ‘pocket money’ on overseas trips, Najib’s ex-aide tells court

Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, former special officer to Najib Razak.

KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak’s former aide told the High Court today that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho gave him “pocket money” whenever he travelled with the former prime minister on official trips.

Former special officer Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin said this when asked by Najib’s lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, on whether Low gave him money besides a US$200,000 (RM836,600) as a “house loan” on April 5, 2011.

“He gave money on various occasions. This included official trips to New York and London,” he said.

When questioned by Shafee on the exact amount he received from the businessman, Amhari said he received “a few thousand dollars”.

Amhari added Low also followed him and Najib on the official trips and the money was given to him by Low in private.

He said that Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers searched his Kota Damansara house when he was remanded for seven days in June last year.

“They seized documents and handphones from my house,” Amhari said.

He also told the court that he brought MACC officers to Low’s luxury apartment at 3 Kia Peng here during his remand period.

“There was a safe box in the apartment, which they opened in front of me. There was some cash inside.”

When asked by Shafee whether the apartment was Low’s office, Amhari said it looked like a place where “work can be done there”.

“There were two bedrooms and a room used as an office,” he said, adding that he met Low at the apartment. The Penang-born businessman had briefed him about setting up Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA).

To another question from Shafee on whether he was aware of a civil suit filed by former 1MDB general counsel and Low’s associate Jasmine Loo against him in British Virgin Island, Amhari told the court he was not aware of it.

Shafee: You said that you opened an account at BSI Bank Singapore under the name of Aerosphere Limited?

Amhari: Yes.

Shafee: Were you also the owner of Tycoon Gain Limited? This is the company which is the sole shareholder of Aerosphere.

Amhari: I am not the owner of Tycoon Gain.

Shafee then pointed out to Amhari that Tycoon Gain was holding the shares for another company, Red Mountain Global Limited, that Loo owned.

“I’ve never seen the documents for the companies before,” Amhari said.

The hearing continues tomorrow (Sept 19) before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

Najib was slapped with 25 counts of money laundering and abuse of power over alleged 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited in his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.