Najib received US$30mil from Jho Low shell company, witness tells court

KUALA LUMPUR: An analyst from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) told the High Court here on Tuesday (Sept 19) that a personal account belonging to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak received US$30mil from a shell company, Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners, purportedly set up by fugitive businessman, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan, 29, said on Oct 30, 2012, a sum of US$5mil was paid and another US$25mil was paid on Nov 19 of the same year.

BNM analyst Adam Ariff Mohd RoslanBNM analyst Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan"Standard Chartered Bank’s records for Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners confirmed that the beneficiary account for both transfers was account number ‘2112022009694’ held under the name ‘AmPrivate Banking - MR’ with AmIslamic.

"Examination on the bank statement and records dated Oct 31, 2012, and Nov 20, 2012, for the account number 2112022009694 maintained in the name of ‘’AmPrivate Banking - MR and/or Datuk Seri Mohd Najib And Razak’ provided by AmIslamic, matched the transfers,” said Adam Ariff.

The 47th prosecution witness said this when verifying the money trail report at Najib’s trial involving the alleged misappropriation of RM2.3bil of 1MDB funds.

It was reported that Jho Low set up Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners, a shell company with a similar name to real estate private equity firm, Blackstone Real Estate and he (Jho Low) deliberately used a naming convention for offshore shell companies built by him to resemble well-established companies in his conspiracy to siphon millions of dollars from 1MDB.

Earlier, Adam Ariff confirmed the RM60.6mil received by the accused in his personal bank account on February and June 2011 originated from Islamic medium-term notes (IMTN) bond issued in 2009 by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) predecessor, Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA). TIA was renamed 1MDB on Sept 25, 2009.

On the first day of trial on Aug 28, 2019, the prosecution had said it would show that 1MDB funds had been transferred in multiple transactions to Najib’s accounts, namely US$20mil or over RM60mil from the first phase and US$30mil or over RM90mil in the second phase.

The prosecution will also show US$681mil or over RM2bil had been transferred in the third phase and transactions in British pounds that were equivalent to a combined total of over RM49mil during the fourth phase.

Najib was seen in his a suit and tie in the courtroom on Tuesday, while his few supporters were seen sitting in the public gallery in the courtroom.

Najib, 70, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3bil belonging to 1MDB and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount. The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. - Bernama

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Najib Razak , 1MDB , Jho Low , Blackstone Asia


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