1MDB trial: Najib’s account considered ‘sensitive’, involved large sums, court told

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here was told that the bank account of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was considered a "sensitive" account as he was a politically-exposed person (PEP).

AmBank Private Banking capital market desk head, Yap Wai Keat, 57, testified that the bank had to be careful in handling such sensitive accounts as it involves large sums of transactions.

ALSO READ: Banker confirms AmBank paid RM2.83bil to M’sian govt over 1MDB scandal

The prosecution witness said this during a cross-examination by Najib's lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed in the RM2.28bil 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial here on Thursday (Sept 29).

Wan Aizuddin had asked Yap on how he knew the account ending 694 - which had been given a codename “AmPrivate Banking – MR” - belonged to Najib.

ALSO READ: 1MDB trial: Witness says RM2.23bil went into Najib's personal account

Yap said he was informed by Najib's AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu that the Pekan MP was the beneficiary of the account.

Yap was asked again by the lawyer on what made the account “sensitive”, and he said it was due to Najib being the prime minister at that time.

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"Also because the transaction amount is large.

"If the market actually knows in terms of this amount, definitely the market would have taken a position ahead. And it would affect the ringgit value," Yap said.

ALSO READ: Witness: Issuance of LOS for US$3bil loan for 1MDB done in haste

Wan Aizuddin: Assuming that a sum of US$10mil were coming into Malaysia to be converted into ringgit and the beneficiary is not Najib, would that change the market position?

Yap: That would not change the position with the market because US$10mil was not much as compared with the amount coming into Datuk Seri's (Najib) account.

The witness also said these were the reasons the account needed to be handled carefully.

"That's why I think Joanna (Yu) created the codename for Datuk Seri's account," he added.

Najib, 69, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.28bil from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The hearing continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah on Oct 3.

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Bribery , 1MDB , Najib Razak , money laundering


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