1MDB trial: Najib’s lawyer claims Bank Negara analyst seconded to MACC has ‘become MACC’

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah today suggested that a Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) analyst — who is testifying on the money trail of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds which allegedly went into Najib’s private bank accounts — had became “too close” with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and lost his independence.

But Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan, who is the 47th prosecution witness in Najib’s 1MDB trial, disagreed that he was no longer independent.

During cross-examination, Shafee remarked that Adam Ariff was allegedly “too close” with MACC.

Adam Ariff agreed that he was placed at MACC’s office while he was carrying out the work of analysing bank documents on the 1MDB money trail, adding that he had been there since 2018.

Shafee: 2018 until now. I’m putting to you that you have become MACC, your mentality has become MACC, you have not remained independent?

Smiling in response to this question, Adam said: “I disagree.”

Adam Ariff was an intern at BNM’s Financial Intelligence and Enforcement Department (FIED) in 2017, and became an associate analyst in BNM in 2017, before being seconded to the 1MDB task force at the MACC as an analyst. He was later promoted to be an analyst at BNM in 2019 and a managerial position in 2022.

Throughout cross-examination today, Shafee repeatedly tried to challenge Adam Ariff’s money trail on the billions of ringgit which entered Najib’s private bank accounts in AmBank, suggesting that Adam Ariff lacked all the necessary bank documents to prove that all these funds in Najib’s accounts could be traced back to 1MDB and its subsidiaries.

But Adam Ariff calmly responded that all the bank documents which he had referred to in the 1MDB trial at the High Court were sufficient to show that money belonging to 1MDB or 1MDB’s subsidiaries had actually ended up in Najib’s private bank accounts.

Previously, Adam Ariff had testified that he did examine other relevant banking documents but had only included 343 banking documents and records — that he felt was significant and necessary to prove the trail of money from 1MDB and its related companies into Najib’s account — in his 76-page report.

This 76-page money trail report and all the banking documents which he referred to in the report were shown to the High Court during the 1MDB trial.

Adam Ariff’s money trail on the transfer of RM2.28 billion of 1MDB funds in four phases between 2011 to 2014 to Najib’s AmIslamic bank accounts matches the four phases which the prosecution had said it would prove.

On the first day of trial, the prosecution had said it would show that 1MDB funds had been transferred in multiple transactions to Najib’s accounts, namely US$20 million equivalent to RM60,629,839.43 or over RM60 million from the first phase, US$30 million equivalent to RM90,899,927.28 or over RM90 million (second phase), US$681 million equivalent to RM2,081,476,926 or over RM2 billion (third phase), and transactions in British pound that were equivalent to RM4,093,500 and RM45,837,485.70 or a combined total of RM49,930,985.70 million or over RM49 million (fourth phase).

Before the trial started today, MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong and MIC deputy president Datuk Seri M. Saravanan were seen chatting to Najib in the courtroom.

Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was also seen in the courtroom.

Najib’s 1MDB trial before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes next Friday, with Adam Ariff and the 48th prosecution witness Assistant Commissioner of Police Foo Wei Min expected to return to testify.