KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 — The High Court here today was told that there were no suspicions when millions of ringgit were deposited into Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s accounts in 2011 and 2012 as the accounts belonged to the then Prime Minister.
Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping, 51, said that she and her superiors had no suspicions that the funds were from illegal sources as the account holder was Najib.
The 41st prosecution witness said this when queried by Najib’s lead counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah at Najib’s trial involving the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.
Muhammad Shafee: You were dealing with fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low. You were dealing with Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil (former chief investment officer of 1MDB). You had no suspicion that the money came from illegal sources?
Yu: It involved the prime minister’s (Najib) accounts. I believe the higher-ups were all aware of it.-
Muhammad Shafee: Neither you nor your officers entertained the slightest suspicion that there was something wrong with the money.
Yu: We would have reported it. From my understanding, the then AmBank managing director, Cheah Tek Kuang, had met Bank Negara Malaysia officials. We took it as it was not illegal.
The witness then agreed with the lawyer that, if there was any suspicion, BNM would have been promptly informed.
“I was informed that the purpose of money credited into Datuk Seri (Najib) accounts was of donation or personal gift,” she said.
Muhammad Shafee then moved on to Najib’s accounts, questioning Yu, who had suggested that Najib wanted to open an account with AmBank.
The witness said that Jho Low told her that Najib wanted to open an account with AmBank, and she was shocked when she heard about it.
Muhammad Shafee: You do not think the PM (Najib) needed (to open) an account with AmBank? Is the bank so low that you did not expect this?
Yu: No, but I do not recall any of my dealings. They (politicians) typically use CIMB or Maybank.
Najib, 69, is facing four charges of using his position to get bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering.
The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow.