In total, the former PM footed €763,500 in bills via 10 credit card transactions in a single day, according to a witness
by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic credit: degrisogono.com
FIRST, it was Bijan, now it is De Grisogono.
The public continues to be exposed to yet another luxury brand in Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s corruption trial involving RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds.
Last week, the High Court heard that Najib had splurged RM3.3 million in a De Grisogono store in Italy using credit cards — in just one day.
On Aug 8, 2014, Najib spent €100,000 (RM462,200) and €3,500 at a De Grisogono store using his Visa Platinum card, as testified by the prosecution’s 47th witness, Yeoh Eng Leong.
De Grisogono is a Swiss luxury jeweller founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1993 by Lebanese-Italian black diamond specialist Fawaz Gruosi.
Based on its official website at degrisogono.com, the prices for its jewellery and timepieces are not made available to the public.
The designs for each jewellery and timepiece are infused with daring colours and bold craftsmanship.
Yeoh — senior VP of AmBank Group in charge of credit card authorisation and fraud management — said Najib also swiped his Mastercard Platinum card eight times at the jeweller boutique, totalling another €660,000 of expenditure.
In total, the eldest son of the country’s second PM footed €763,500 in bills via 10 credit card transactions ranging between €3,500 and €100,000 in a single day.
Yeoh said Najib, who had a RM3 million credit limit for both of the cards, paid the bills five days later on Aug 13. He also testified on another Mastercard transaction worth RM127,017.46 made at the Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok on Jan 4, 2015.
Apart from De Grisogono, Yeoh testified in court that Najib had transacted with his credit card RM466,330.11 on Dec 22, 2014, at a Chanel store in Honolulu, US.
To recall, last year the Malaysian public was made aware of a bag from The House of Bijan that was seized by the police during raids conducted in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
Bijan was among 567 luxury handbags — including Hermes, Chanel and Prada — confiscated in relation to investigations on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal.
Another highlight of the SRC trial last week is the revelation by former AmBank MD Cheah Tek Kuang that it was Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, who introduced him to the former PM.
“I was then taken into the residence by Jho Low who then introduced me to Najib, and Jho Low also informed him that I was from AmBank. Najib and I proceeded to the guest room, while I saw Jho Low waiting at a different part of the residence.
“I explained the procedures of opening bank accounts with AmBank to Najib and he also mentioned that the opening of the said accounts must follow the rules and regulations of the bank, and I am obligated to inform the central bank on the opening of the said accounts because Najib is a politicallyexposed person,” Cheah said from a witness statement on the 39th day of the trial.
He also answered in the affirmative when asked whether he can recognise Jho Low if the prosecution showed him the fugitive businessman’s picture.
Cheah, who is the 50th prosecution witness in Najib’s trial, also told the High Court that he did not receive any letter from the former PM stating his desire to return the US$620 million (RM2.55 billion) deposited into his account to its sender in 2013.
The trial continues with the prosecution’s 54th witness expected to testify today.