Jho Low said Najib refused to close his AmBank’s accounts, says witness

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

A FORMER banker told the High Court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or known as Jho Low, informed her that former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak (picture) did not want to close his accounts with AmBank.

This was revealed by AmBank former relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping, 48, during cross-examination by lawyer Harvinderjit Singh on the 48th day of Najib’s trial in relation to the misappropriation of RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds.

She confirmed the transcript of the conversation between her and Jho Low which was read out in court by Harvinderjit.

Harvinderjit: On Dec 20, 2014, you pushed Jho Low to close Najib’s accounts and he responded “asked MNR (Mohd Najib Razak), he does not want to close”.

Yu: Yes.

The court previously heard that the senior management of AmBank at the end of 2014 proposed and discussed closing Najib’s current accounts as they were constantly overdrawn and the bank often had to wait for adequate funds to be deposited in order to clear cheques issued by Najib.

Yu also said she did not suspect anything amiss during her dealings with Jho Low.

Harvinderjit: Would you agree if during the time you dealt with Jho Low, you had a very strong suspicion that he did not communicate with the account holder (Najib), you would raise it to the bank.

Yu: I would have raised it to (former group MD of AmBank Group) Cheah Tek Kuang.

Harvinderjit: And you would have been very, very reluctant to deal with Jho Low on matters relating to the (Najib’s) accounts?

Yu: Yes.

Harvinderjit: But you didn’t get that strong suspicion. Not until at least 2014, 2015.

Yu: When we told him (Jho Low) to close the (Najib’s) account.

The witness also agreed to a suggestion by Harvinderjit that an amount of RM5 million was transferred from a construction company, Putra Perdana Development Sdn Bhd, into Najib’s account ending 906, was done in a span of one day.

The RM5 million transfer was meant to necessitate a cheque issued from the 906 account, causing some RM3 million to be overdrawn.

Yu also said Jho Low had asked her to reverse transfers of RM27 million and RM5 million into the accused’s AmBank account ending 880 and 906 in 2014.

Earlier, Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali set Aug 13, to hear Attorney General Tommy Thomas’ application to have Najib apologise for his Facebook post.

Najib, 66, is facing three counts of criminal breach of trust, one count of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering involving SRC International funds amounting to RM42 million.

The trial before Justice Mohd Nazlan continues today. — Bernama