KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had in 2012 ultimately received a total of US$30 million (RM140.8 million) in funds which had originated from US$1.64 billion belonging to a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiary, the High Court heard today.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) analyst Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan laid out the money trail for how money had trickled down from 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited’s (1MELL) US$1.64 billion to several entities — including a company belonging to Malaysian fugitive Low Taek Jho’s Malaysian associate Eric Tan Kim Loong — before the US$20 million reached Najib’s private AmIslamic bank account. These multi-layered transactions all took place within just one month.
Adam Ariff is the 47th prosecution witness in Najib’s trial over RM2.28 billion of funds misappropriated from 1MDB and alleged to have entered the former finance minister’s personal bank accounts.
Adam Ariff referred to multiple banking documents for the entire money trail, showing that the funds that entered Najib’s AmIslamic account travelled through the accounts could all be traced back to the 1MDB subsidiary’s US$1.64 billion.
Based on Adam Ariff’s testimony, 1MELL had issued a bond — or took on debt — to raise funds to buy energy assets, and 1MELL had on October 19, 2012 received US$1.64 billion in its Falcon Bank account after issuing the bond.
He said 1MELL had zero funds in its bank account before receiving the US$1.64 billion on October 19, 2012, and that 1MELL had on the same day transferred US$790 million to the British Virgin Islands-incorporated (BVI) company Aabar Investments PJS Limited’s (Aabar-BVI) BSI bank account. This Aabar is now known to be a fake Aabar.
In confirming that the US$790 million in Aabar-BVI could be fully traced back to the US$1.64 billion from 1MELL, Adam Ariff said the bank statements show that 1MELL had zero funds before it received the US$1.64 billion from the bond and that 1MELL did not receive money from any other sources before it sent out the US$790 million to Aabar-BVI.
Before Aabar-BVI received the US$790 million in its account, its last balance was over US$15 million.
Bank Negara Malaysia analyst Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex on September 19, 2023. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
He then went on to show how the chain of transactions continued uninterrupted, with Aabar-BVI then purportedly investing US$291,243,827 or over US$291 million into the Cistenique Investment Fund on October 23, 2012 (or to be exact US$285 million plus tax and other costs).
Aabar-BVI later on November 7, 2012 purportedly invested US$96,938,776 in Enterprise Emerging Markets Fund (EEMF) (or to be exact US$95 million plus tax and other costs).
But just as quickly as the Aabar-BVI’s funds totalling over US$388 million went into Cistenique and EEMF, those funds quickly flowed out to Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners’s Standard Chartered bank account within just a day or two, before the portion totalling US$30 million then flowing out to Najib’s account.
Based on banking documents, Blackstone’s beneficiary owner is Tan Kim Loong --- widely known as Low’s associate.
On October 24, 2012, Cistenique sent out US$285 million to Blackstone; while EEMF on November 8, 2012 sent US$95 million to Blackstone.
Blackstone on October 30, 2012 sent US$5 million and on November 19, 2012 sent US$25 million to Najib’s AmIslamic Bank account known as “2112022009694” and which had the codename “AmPrivate Banking-MR”.
Based on bank documents, Adam Ariff said over RM15 million (RM15,149,963.64) and over RM75 million (RM75,749,963.64) were sent to Najib’s account, which comes out to a total of over RM90 million (RM90,899,927.28).
This is the second phase of the 1MDB scheme which has been cited by the prosecution.
Asked by deputy public prosecutor Kamal Baharin Omar this afternoon regarding the source of the RM90 million funds in Najib's account under the second phase, Adam Ariff replied: "The funds received by Najib Razak personal account from Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners amounting to RM90,899,927.28 originated from the proceeds of the bond received by 1MELL in 2012."
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 in four phases.
The four phases are 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).
Yesterday, Adam Ariff showed how US$20 million had in 2011 flowed in from funds originating from 1MDB to the same “AmPrivate Banking-MR” bank account owned by Najib, with Najib’s account having only RM484 before those funds started coming in. This was the first phase, with funds having also travelled through Low’s Good Star Limited’s bank account before reaching Najib. Low is better known as Jho Low.
Asked by deputy public prosecutor Kamal Baharin Omar this morning for his full analysis of where the RM60 million had originated from, Adam Ariff said this RM60 million sum received in Najib’s account from a Riyad bank account belonging to a “Prince Faisal” had originated from an Islamic bond or Islamic medium-term note issued by 1MDB’s predecessor 1MDB in 2009 as well as a RM2.5 billion syndicated term loan borrowed by 1MDB.
Najib was seen in a light grey suit with a red tie, while his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was not seen inside the courtroom today.
Najib’s 1MDB trial before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes tomorrow morning, with Adam Ariff expected to go through banking transactions under the third phase of the 1MDB scheme.