Najib sues Ambank, Joanna Yu for taking instructions from Jho Low

(Malaysiakini) – Najib Abdul Razak is suing Ambank and its former relationship manager Joanna Yu for taking instructions from and revealing his banking information to 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low.

The former prime minister, who is now battling criminal charges related to his three accounts with the bank, is claiming damages from the bank and Yu for allegedly committing the act, which violates the Financial Services Act (FSA) and Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 (Bafia).

According to his lawyer Muhammad Farhan Shafee, Yu had by taking instructions from Low prevented red flags from being raised on his accounts and thus, prevented Najib from being alerted and taking action.

“The suit is about a breach of duty by the bank and Ms Yu for acting outside the scope of standard banking practices by taking instructions and disclosing information about the account to unauthorised persons such as Jho Low.

“From the Blackberry Messenger chats we saw during the SRC International trial, some of the instructions taken from Jho Low resulted in Bank Negara Malaysia and Anti-Money Laundering Act red flags not being raised.

“If they were, Dato’ Sri Najib would have been immediately alerted about the status of the account and intervene. Instead, he was kept in the dark,” Farhan said when contacted today.

In the suit filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Monday, Najib has named three defendants – AMMB Holdings Bhd, Ambank Islamic Bhd and Yu.

Najib is currently facing seven charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering related to RM42 million that originated from SRC International funds.

The monies had allegedly been misappropriated from the company, before ending up in Najib’s three bank accounts with Ambank between late 2014 and early 2015.

During the prosecution stage of the trial, Yu had testified as a prosecution witness, where she told the court about her communications with Low on matters pertaining to Najib’s bank accounts.

These allegedly include taking instructions from the fugitive businessperson, albeit Low was not the authorised person to give instructions.