Najib’s account was ‘sensitive’ as he is a politically-exposed person: Witness

AN AmBank officer told the High Court here today that he had to be careful in handling Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s personal bank account as it was deemed a sensitive account that belonged to a politically-exposed person (PEP).

AmBank Private Banking Capital Market Head Desk, Yap Wai Keat, 57, said it was also because a large amount of money was being remitted via two transactions in the former premier’s personal bank account with the code name AmPrivate Banking-MR in 2011.

“At that point of time, Datuk Seri (Najib) was our prime minister and there was a large amount of money being transacted.

“If the currency market actually knows, in terms of the amount, it (currency market) would have taken a position ahead and it would affect the Ringgit value,” he said during cross-examination by Najib’s counsel Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed at Najib’s trial involving the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Yesterday, the 38th prosecution witness testified that he was tasked to execute the conversion of the money, from US$ to MYR, remitted in by a Saudi prince, Prince Faisal Bin Turkey Bin Bandar Al Saud on Feb 2 and June 14, 2011.

Referring to two Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) documents, Yap said US$9,999,977 was converted to RM30,449,929.97 on Feb 24, 2011, and another US$9,999,970 was converted to RM30,179,909.46 on June 14, 2011.

Wan Aizuddin then questioned the witness whether the currency market would be affected if the beneficiary was not Najib and the amount of monies coming in was only US$10 million, which the witness answered in the negative.

“No, the market would not be affected because US$10 million was not much as compared to the amount coming into Datuk Seri’s account. You have to be careful because the amount (of monies) was much larger, that’s why I think Datuk Seri’s relationship manager (another AmBank officer, Joanna Yu) created a code name AmPrivate Banking-MR for him,” said the witness.

Najib, 69, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on Oct 3. – BERNAMA