Amhari: I didn't know I had to declare RM838k

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 18 Sep 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: A former special officer to Datuk Seri Najib Razak told the High Court that he did not know an influx of money from abroad into a local bank account would be flagged by Bank Negara.

Despite being a former employee at the central bank, Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin said he was not aware of the regulation when asked by Najib’s lead counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Shafee was questioning Amhari on a US$200,000 (RM838,000) unpaid loan he received from fugitive financier Low Taek Jho.

Amhari said the money was wired into his Maybank current account on April 5,2011.

He said Bank Negara did not query him on the transaction, but Maybank made a call to him.

Shafee: (After the call) Then you would have to fill in a form (to declare the transaction).

Amhari: No, I didn't. I told them over the phone. I said it was a bridging loan to pay for my current housing.

Shafee: Do you know that a huge amount of money from abroad would be flagged?

Amhari: No.

Shafee: Are you aware that not getting a clearance for the money is an offence?

Amhari: No, I’m not.

Shafee: Are you sure? Because you worked at Bank Negara before.

Amhari: Bank Negara is large and I'm at the economics department.

Shafee: So you don’t know it is an offence.

Amhari: I don’t. The Maybank officer would have alerted me if there was something wrong with the money.

Shafee: So you’re saying the bank officer did not alert you?

Amhari: I'm saying there was never a query, so I thought the money was good.

Shafee: It is your duty and not the bank to declare the money.

Amhari: I'm not aware.

Najib, 66, faces 25 charges in total – four for abuse of power that allegedly brought him the financial benefit to the tune of RM2.3bil; and 21 for money laundering involving the same amount of money.

He faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of up to five times the sum or value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher if found guilty.

The hearing continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah this afternoon.

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