Firms run by Jho Low’s aide sent £9.45mil to Najib’s account, court hears

Bank Negara Malaysia analyst says Najib Razak received funds which originated from two loans to 1MDB totalling US$1.225 billion.

(FMT) – A Bank Negara Malaysia analyst told the High Court in Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial today that two firms controlled by an aide to Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, had remitted £9.45 million to the former prime minister in 2014.

Adam Ariff Roslan said the remitted funds had originated from two loans amounting to US$1.225 billion taken out by 1MDB Energy Holdings Ltd, a 1MDB subsidiary, with Deutsche Bank in the same year.

Adam said the first loan, amounting to US$250 million, was received by 1MDB Energy on May 26, 2014.

A second loan of US$975 million was made available on Sept 1 that year, he said.

He said that on May 26, 2014, a sum of US$175 million – part of the US$250 million loan – was transferred to Aabar Investments PJS Ltd’s bank account in the British Virgin Islands.

On June 17, 2014, Aabar Investments PJS moved a sum of US$19 million to a foreign firm known as Affinity Equity International Partners Ltd.

Adam said that two days later, a sum of US$1.89 million out of the US$19 million was transferred to Blackrock Commodities (Global) Ltd.

Based on bank statements, he said, part of Blackrock Commodities’ US$1.89 million, or £750,000, was moved to Najib’s AmBank account on the same day.

He also said that on Sept 3 and Sept 30, 2014, 1MDB Energy transferred US$681 million of the US$975 million received under a second loan to Aabar Investments PJS, a Seychelles entity.

Less than one month later, on Oct 16 that year, Aabar Investments PJS (Seychelles) moved US$226 million (from the US$681 million) to the account of Aabar International, a Barbados company.

“Aabar International immediately transferred an almost identical amount of funds (US$225 million) to Vista Equity International Partners’ account.

“Vista Equity’s account was similar to a pass-through account, where funds credited are often utilised in whole or partially for transfers to third parties within a short period of time” he said.

Adam said that between Oct 17 and Dec 17, 2014, Vista Equity deposited a total of £8.7 million to Najib’s account.

The prosecution said in its opening statement that Blackrock Commodities and Vista Equity were controlled by Low’s aide, Tan Kim Loong.

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.

The hearing before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.