Zeti: Bank Negara never told of three Arab donation letters addressed to Najib

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No information received about intended donations into Najib’s account.

Former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz told the High Court on Thursday (July 27) that the former Group Managing Director of AmBank Group never mentioned any intended donations that were to be remitted into Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s AmBank account.

Zeti, 76, said Cheah Tek Kuang had paid her a courtesy visit at BNM on Jan 28, 2011, and informed that Najib, who was then the Prime Minister was opening an account with AmIslamic Bank Berhad and that his account would be referred to in a code for the ROMS (Ringgit Operations Monitoring System).

Reading her witness statement, the 46th prosecution witness said although the account was coded as “AmPrivate Banking – MR” for ROMS, the opening of the account was in compliance with the rules set, that is, all personal accounts opened by the account holder must be under the name of the account holder as stated in the National Identity Card and not by any other name.

“Nothing further was discussed and the meeting was short. At no time during this meeting did Cheah ever mention any intended donations that were to be remitted into this account.

Bernama

“Six weeks later, Cheah issued a letter dated March 22, 2011, to the (then) Deputy Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus and a letter of intent was attached of a promise for a donation from one Saud Abdulaziz Majid AL Saud that was dated Feb 1, 2011 which was addressed to Najib,” she said.

She said this under examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib at the former Pekan MP’s trial involving the misappropriation of RM2.3bil from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Zeti said after receiving the letter from Cheah on March 22, 2011, no further information pertaining to Najib’s account was received from Ambank, adding that there was no information on the funds that were remitted into the account or that the said funds were irregular or suspicious.

“Subsequently, in a letter to BNM dated June 20, 2013, Najib had sought FEA (the Foreign Exchange Administration) approval to convert an amount of up to RM2.26bil in his MYR current account to USD for the purposes of returning/remitting the entire amount.

“In his letter, he declared the funds as being the unutilised sum of donations and personal gifts that he had received.

“In cognisance of this letter, for funds that are owned by the account holder as had been declared in the letter, no approval was required under the FEA rules,” she said.

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

The trial before Justice Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.


Earlier reports:

Jul 27, My family never took 1MDB funds

Jul 27, 1MDB trial: AGC classified Bank Negara’s investigation paper as NFA, says Zeti

Jul 27, 1MDB trial: Najib requested Bank Negara to clear his name over RM2.6b in personal bank accounts