Cash banked into Najib’s accounts not flagged as ‘suspicious’, court told

Former Ambank relationship manager Krystle Yap says she was merely acting on her supervisor’s instructions.

KUALA LUMPUR: A former Ambank officer told the High Court in Najib Razak’s SRC International trial that she was told by her then supervisor to assist an associate of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho in depositing cash into the former prime minister’s bank accounts.

Krystle Yap, who was a relationship manager with the bank’s wholesale banking coverage department, said her supervisor, Joanna Yu, had instructed her to meet Kee Kok Thiam, as Kee wanted to bank in the cash into Najib’s accounts.

“From what I was told, this was because those accounts had become overdrawn.

“I was merely acting on Joanna’s instructions to expedite Kee’s dealings with our branch where I had arranged a staff member in the branch to attend to him (Kee) straight away,” she said, when asked by Najib’s lawyer Farhan Read about cash deposits made between 2014 and 2015.

However, Yap said she could not confirm how much money Kee had deposited into Najib’s accounts.

To questions on whether Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had flagged Najib’s accounts due to “suspicious transactions” over fund transfers from 2011 to 2015, the witness said the transactions were not flagged as “suspicious”.

“According to Joanna, she had informed Mr Cheah Tek Kuang and later Mr Ashok Ramamoorthy and our Compliance Department of all the incoming funds and the corresponding ‘gift letters’ attached to them.

“She also said Mr Cheah also reported to the (Bank Negara) governor, Zeti Akhtar Aziz,” Yap said. Cheah and Ashok were Ambank’s former managing directors.

When questioned by ad-hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram as to whether SRC International and its subsidiary company, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd, had made any complaints that Ambank had acted without authority in transferring RM42 million from SRC International to Gandingan Mentari, and subsequently to Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd on Dec 24, 2014, Yap said there was no complaint.

Yap was one of the bank officers, along with Yu and Daniel Lee, tasked with managing the accounts of SRC International and Gandingan Mentari at Ambank.

The hearing continues tomorrow (Jan 5) before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali when former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah will testify.

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.