Najib failed to justify RM2.973 billion 1MDB funds in his personal bank accounts

Ana Ghoib Syeikh Malaya 2/11/2021 03:43:00 PG
Former prime miniter Datuk Seri Najib Razak - pic TImes of India

Datuk Seri Najib Razak failed to justify the transfer of RM2.973 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds into his three personal bank accounts despite all the opportunities he had to do so, the High Court was told today.

New Straits Times reported, Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi said Najib received the monies through several entities including Good Star Ltd, a company controlled by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

"In the final analysis, the colossal sum of RM2.973 billion found accumulated in Najib's AmBank account in three stages from Good Star, Aabar, and Tanore remains the elephant in the room.

"Najib was accorded all the opportunities in the world to clear the allegations as he was metaphorically, caught taking monies from a till, yet, there is a deathly silence from him.

"We hear no cries of innocence from him on the simple question - 'Why the 1MDB monies end up in your personal accounts, not once, not twice, but thrice, sir?'", he said before Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussi

He said this in his submissions to oppose the third-party claims made by Najib and Umno following a raid conducted by the police at the Pavilion apartment owned by OBYU Holdings Sdn Bhd in November 2018.

Saifuddin who is also the head of Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) Money Laundering and Forfeiture of Criminal Proceeds, said Good Star, Jho Low, Prince Faisal, Prince Said, Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners and Najib do not have any connection or business dealing with 1MDB to justify their receipt of such amount of monies.

"There were no business or commercial reasons for such movements of monies. There is also no escaping the fact that the monies in Najib's accounts are proceeds from money laundering offences as it was traceable directly to 1MDB through Good Star and Aabar Stage," he said.

He said there was much evidence to prove that the seized items indeed came from money laundering and unlawful activities.

"By extending the 'three-strikes and you are out' analogy, the preponderance of evidence speaks volumes in support to our case.

"Surely Najib is not Ali Baba of the Arabian Nights, who discovered the thieves' den, except perhaps he too knows the magical phrase 'Open Sesame' to summon the fortune from 1MDB into his personal accounts.

"Even then, there is no mistake about it - the modern-day Ali Baba and the like of Jim Hawkins of Treasure Island who found great fortune falling into their lap stand to forfeit the ill-gotten fortune under Money Laundering Act," he said.

He said Najib and Umno had made a feeble claim to suggest the seized cash is political donations due to the weight of evidence which suggest otherwise.

"No amount of finesses can whitewash the traces of wrongdoings stemming from the cash seized.

"Perhaps, just perhaps, in the end, the only glimmer of hope for redemption from 'Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl' for Najib and Umno lies in a total, complete and honourable disgorgement of all benefits derived from the tainted 1MDB monies, in much the same way as Captain Barbossa sought to return every single piece of the 882 medallions to the treasure of Hernan Cortes on Isla de Muerta," he added.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah represented Najib while Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh and Tania Scivetti appeared for Umno.

The court set March 11 and 15 to hear reply submissions from Shafee and Hariharan.

On May 8, 2019, the AGC filed a notice of forfeiture over hundreds of items, including branded handbags and 27 vehicles seized from Najib, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, their three children and 13 individuals and companies.

In addition, money amounting to more than RM18 million in several accounts at Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, Al-Rajhi Bank Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, CIMB Bank Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, AmBank Bhd and the Hong Leong Bank Bhd was frozen between Aug 16, 2018, and March 11, 2019.

It named Najib as the first respondent followed by Rosmah, Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, Nor Ashman Razak Mohd Najib, Nooryana Najwa Mohd Najib, Mohd Kyizzad Mesran, Senijauhar Sdn Bhd, Aiman Ruslan, Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia, Yayasan Semesta, Yayasan Mustika Kasih, Rembulan Kembara Sdn Bhd, Goh Gaik Ewe, Ng Chong Hwa, Lim Hwee Bin, Kee Kok Thiam, Tan Vern Tact and Geh Choh Hun as second to 18th respondents.

The application was filed on the grounds that the prosecution, acting under Section 56 (1) read together with Section 376 of the Criminal Procedure Code, was satisfied that the items seized between May 17, 2018, and March 11, 2019, were related to an offence under Section 4 (1) or as the result of illegal activities involving the respondents. - NSTP