Investigating officer: Najib moving monies from his personal account to another considered an AMLA offence

(Bernama) – The High Court here today was told that Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s action of moving RM150 million and RM12 million from his personal account to another personal account in AmIslamic bank is categorised as an offence under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).

Assistant Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Criminal Investigation Division, ACP Foo Wei Min said from a theoretical point of view, money laundering from one account to another is considered as layering, which is one of the stages in the money laundering process.

“The action (moving monies from one account to another) is also deemed as layering because it is an attempt to mislead the authorities, making it harder to track the initial source of the money,“ he said.

The 48th prosecution witness was referring to Najib’s alleged actions of transferring RM150 million and RM12 million, on Aug 27 and 30, 2013, respectively, from his AmIslamic 694 account to 880 account at the former prime minister’s trial involving the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

However, Najib’s counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, said the act of layering must have an element of concealing to it, which Najib did not do as the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) was aware of the transaction at the material time.

“In that sense, somehow an unfairness has occurred because he (Najib) did not get to explain himself during the investigation. If he wants to conceal he wouldn’t transfer it from his one account to another, wouldn’t he?” said the lawyer.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Shafee, when referring to a document prepared by Foo detailing the funds in Najib’s account, asked Foo whether he agreed that Najib spent a lot for political and welfare purposes, which included Umno and corporate social responsibilities (CSR).

Foo concurred with Muhammad Shafee on the matter.

The witness also agreed with the lawyer’s suggestion that none of the monies were used for Najib’s personal purposes, including buying a yacht.

Najib, 70, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3 billion belonging to 1MDB and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before Justice Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow.