Crime & Courts

US$120 million from KWAP ended up in Najib's account, court told

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of US$120 million in funds loaned to SRC International Sdn Bhd from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) made its way into former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's AmBank account, the High Court was told today.

Financial investigations expert Angela Barkhouse said her basis for saying so lied in three transactions involving money Najib received between December 2011 and May 2012.

The offshore asset recovery specialist, who is the second witness in the SRC International suit, said Najib, received US$70 million on Dec 29, 2011, and US$25 million each on March 12, 2012, and May 22, 2012.

"I have reviewed bank statements for Najib's AmBank Private Banking account and have been able to approximately match incoming amounts in Ringgit Malaysia to the transactions out of the Blackstone (Asia Real Estate Partners) account in US$ by applying a currency conversion," she testified during an online proceedings from the Cayman Islands before judge Datuk Ahmad Fairuz Zainol Abidin.

She said there were transactions from SRC International Ltd BSI Bank Singapore to Enterprise Emerging Markets Fund and then to Blackstone before the US$120 million ended up in Najib's AmBank account.

Barkhouse, who is SRC BVI liquidator, said what Najib had received was out of the sum of US$506.9 million received by Blackstone, derived from investment companies, Cistenique Investment Fund and Enterprise.

Blackstone, she said, appeared to be a shell company that conducted no legitimate business, other than to launder funds misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad and SRC International.

She testified that former SRC International chief executive officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil received US$82,000 from Blackstone between Jan 27, 2012 and Feb 8, 2012.

However, she said she was still unable to identify the bank account to which these payments were made.

She said there was movement of funds out of Blackstone to various intermediaries involved in the fraud against SRC.

This included US$6 million to the BSI Bank account of Abu Dhabi Kuwait Malaysia Investment Corporation between Feb 15, 2012 and March 9, 2013, a British Virgin Island (BVI) incorporated company reportedly controlled by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

There was also US$168.5 million to the Standard Chartered Bank of Alsen Chance Holdings Limited between Feb 10, 2012 and Jan 8, 2013.

Alsen Chance is a BVI-incorporated company owned by Low's associate, Tan Kim Loong, being the sole director and shareholder.

Of the US$168.5 million transferred to Alsen Chance, US$17.5 million went into Red Granite Capital Ltd's BSI Bank account between Feb 15, 2012, and May 22, 2012, which was beneficially owned and controlled by Najib's stepson, Riza Aziz.

"US$32.4 million was transferred to Brightstone Jewellery Limited from Blackstone (US$24.8 million) and Alsen Chance ($7.6 million).

"The entirety of these funds was paid to vendors of jewellery and other high-value goods, between February 13, 2012 and January 22, 2013," she said.

Barkhouse added that Cistenique had transferred US$14.9 million to Affinity Equity International Partners Limited, which she believed functioned like Blackstone to launder funds.

Of the sum, she said US$1.75 million was transferred out of Affinity to Blackrock Commodities (Global) Ltd on Apr 11, 2014.

The trial continues tomorrow.

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