(Updated)

Najib's private AmBank account received more than RM90m in 1MDB funds

Photo by Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Yusuf/The Edge

Photo by Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Yusuf/The Edge

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 26): AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan branch manager R Uma Devi confirmed with the High Court here that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak received more than RM90 million in two transactions in October and November 2012 into his private AmBank account ending in “694”.

During the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-Tanore trial, the prosecution witness testified before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah that on Oct 31, 2012, RM15,149,963.64 was deposited into the account.

She added that on Nov 20, 2012, an amount of RM75,749,963.64 was also deposited into the account.

The two transactions amounted to RM90,899,927.28.

This sum, which entered Najib’s account, forms the basis of the second of four abuse of power charges that Najib is facing in the trial.

Where the money came from and how it ended up in Najib’s accounts

According to lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram’s opening statement in the trial, Najib used his position as the then prime minister and finance minister to get 1MDB to enter into two transactions to acquire independent power producers Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn Bhd and Mastika Lagenda Sdn Bhd.

It was from these two acquisitions of “dubious value” that the prosecution claimed Najib had obtained the RM90,899,927.28 from.

It should be noted that Mastika owned 75% of Genting Sanyen Sdn Bhd.

To make the purchase, 1MDB acted through its subsidiaries 1MDB Energy Holdings Ltd, 1MDB Energy Ltd, and 1MDB Energy (Langat) Ltd, which were incorporated in Labuan, as well as through Malaysian-registered companies, namely 1MDB Energy Sdn Bhd and 1MDB Energy (Langat). These companies were used to raise funds for both acquisitions.  

A local bridging loan of RM6.17 billion was obtained to acquire the Tanjong Energy assets. An additional sum of US$1.75 billion was raised through the issuance of 10-year structured loan notes.

Goldman Sachs was appointed as the lead arranger for the issuance of these notes.

Of the US$1.75 billion, US$786 million went to Tanjong Energy. Of the balance, US$907 million was paid into the account of 1MDB Energy Ltd with Falcon Bank in Hong Kong.

Of this sum, approximately US$577 million in round figures went to Aabar Investments PJS Ltd (BVI), a fake shell company owned by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low.

This payment was purportedly as a security deposit for Aabar's holding company International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) guaranteeing the notes. 

In addition to the security deposit, Aabar was also given an option to take up a 49% stake owned by 1MDB Energy Ltd in 1MDB Energy Sdn Bhd. On May 22, 2012, US$295 million was paid by Aabar to a company called Blackstone Asia, a company controlled by Jho Low through his associate Eric Tan Kim Loong.

On July 25, 2012, a further sum of US$133 million was transferred by Aabar to Blackstone. These monies remained with Blackstone until October 2012. Goldman Sachs was paid a gargantuan sum of US$192.5 million as the arranger's fee for this bond issuance.

As for the second acquisition, the alleged purchase price was RM2.75 billion. The money for this came from two sources — the first another set of 10-year structured loan notes of US$1.75 billion. For this, 1MDB paid Goldman Sachs US$110 million as the arranger’s fee.

1MDB had a sum of US$1.64 billion after the arranger’s fee was paid. This sum was paid into 1MDB Energy (Langat) Ltd's account with Falcon Bank, Hong Kong.

The second source of fundraising was a local loan of RM700 million. The total loan raised from these two sources was about RM6.16 billion.

Out of that sum, US$790 million was banked in to Aabar on Oct 23, 2012, as a security deposit for guaranteeing the notes.

On Oct 23, 2012, Aabar paid a sum of approximately US$291 million in round figures to Cistenique Investment Fund or CIF. On the same day, Aabar paid US$76 million to Enterprise Emerging Markets Fund (EEMF). On Oct 23, 2012, Aabar paid US$75 million to Blackstone.

CIF, EEMF, and Blackstone were all shell companies owned and controlled by Jho Low and Eric Tan.

Soon after CIF and EEMF received the monies in question, they paid it over to Blackstone. Blackstone then channelled RM90 million plus into Najib’s account.

Uma Devi is testifying on all the monetary transactions Najib paid and received into his private accounts at AmBank.

Najib was seated in court at the accused dock while Uma Devi was testifying.

The trial had to be vacated two weeks ago as Najib was hospitalised.

However, the Ministry of Health last Friday (Sept 23) released a statement saying that Najib was given medical clearance by specialists from Kuala Lumpur Hospital and Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, and was allowed to return to Kajang Prison, where he is serving a 12-year sentence after he was found guilty in the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial. 

The charges:

Four counts of abuse of power for using his position as the then prime minister, finance minister, and chairman of 1MDB's board of advisers to receive gratification worth:

  • RM60.63 million on Feb 24 and June 14, 2011;
  • RM90.9 million on Oct 31 to Nov 12, 2012;
  • RM2.08 billion on March 22 and April 10, 2013;
  • RM49.93 million on June 23 and Dec 19, 2014.

Twenty-one counts of money laundering involving over RM4.3 billion:

  • First to ninth counts (March 22 to April 10, 2013): RM2.08 billion from Tanore Finance Corp to his bank account;
  • 10th count (Aug 2, 2013): RM652.6 million from his bank account to Tanore Finance Corp;
  • 11th and 12th counts (Aug 2 and Aug 7, 2013): RM20 million to Umno via cheque; RM100,000 to Umno Batu Kawan via cheque;
  • 13th count (Aug 7, 2013): RM246,000 to Tan Sri Lim Soon Peng via cheque;
  • 14th count (Aug 12, 2013): RM2 million to ORB Solutions Sdn Bhd via cheque;
  • 15th count (Aug 14, 2013): RM303,000 to Semarak Konsortium Satu Sdn Bhd via cheque;
  • 16th to 19th counts (Aug 15 to 23, 2013): RM1.38 million from his bank account to Tanore Finance Corp;
  • 20th and 21st counts (Aug 27 and 30, 2013): RM162.44 million from one of his AmIslamic Bank accounts to another [unknown entity].

The Edge is covering the trial live here.

Users of The Edge Markets app may tap here to access the live report.

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