Low’s aides banked cash into Najib’s overdrawn accounts, court hears

(FMT) – A former banker told Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial today that several local individuals deposited cash into the former prime minister’s accounts in 2014 and 2015 whenever they were overdrawn.

AmBank’s former relationship manager Joanna Yu named Kee Kok Thiam and “Josie” as persons linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, who effected the transactions.

She said they would visit AmBank’s Jalan Raja Chulan branch to make the cash deposits.

Yu added that she would text Jho Low via Blackberry Messenger (BBM) to inform him whenever one of the former prime minister’s accounts was overdrawn, and would receive a reply saying Kee would handle the matter.

“Kee and Josie worked with Jho in Wynton Private Equity Group,” Yu added.

In Najib’s SRC International corruption trial, another former AmBank officer, Krystle Yap, had also named Kee as the person who arranged for cash deposits into Najib’s overdrawn accounts.

Yu said both Najib and his mandate holder, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, never inquired with the bank about the cash deposits.

The former banker also said she “felt bad” when the bank’s credit card department rejected a RM3 million charge made for a transaction in Italy using Najib’s credit card.

“We rejected some transactions because of the (credit) limit.

“I was worried it would have repercussions on the bank,” said Yu.

She said Low was notified of the matter and he then forwarded to her BBM messages from Najib relating to the transactions.

The court heard that Najib held a Platinum Mastercard and a Visa Platinum card with AmBank until both were terminated in March 2015.

The hearing continues on Feb 27 before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

Najib is standing trial on 25 charges of abuse of power and money laundering over alleged 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.