Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Ambank conspired with Jho Low: Najib Razak 's defence continues to point the finger at ANZ managed AMBank

by Ganesh Sahathevan

To be read with: 

Gonski, ANZ Board ,Mandy Simpson and other ANZ/AMMB managers caught by extra-territorial reach of Australia's AML/CTF legislation

Shahrol Azral never seen Jho Low's signature on 1MDB documents

Last update: 08/10/2019

Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 -- Former chief executive officer of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi has never seen the signature of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, on any of the company documents despite the latter's presence from day one of the establishment of the government-owned strategic development company.

Testifying in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial involving 1MDB funds, Shahrol Azral, 49, told the High Court today he could not identify Jho Low's signature when he was referred to a document by Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Muhammad Shafee: Somebody signed this document on June 9, 2009. Whose signature is it?

Shahrol Azral: I don’t know.

Muhammad Shafee : It is not Jho Low’s signature?

Shahrol Azral: I don't know

Muhammad Shafee : You can’t identify?

Shahrol Azral: No

Muhammad Shafee: In all these years you know Jho Low, you cannot identify his signature?

Shahrol Azral: No.

Muhammad Shafee: Why?

Shahrol Azral: Because I have never seen a document which was signed by him.

Muhammad Shafee: Doesn't that alarm you? Isn’t that a signal of something disastrous?

Shahrol Azral: It does not alarm me.

Muhammad Shafee: Why?

Shahrol Azral: Because he does not have any official dealings with 1MDB.

According to Shahrol Azral's 270-page witness statement, Jho Low had no formal power in the governance of Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), a precursor to 1MDB, but was still able to influence decisions on an executive level when TIA was established in 2009.

TIA later issued a formal resolution on Jho Low’s appointment on April 8 the same year.

The former 1MDB CEO also testified that he never knew that it was Jho Low-linked companies that became the two secondary subscribers of 1MDB bonds in 2009.

The two companies, called Aktis Singapore Pvt Ltd and Country Group, are linked to Jho Low where he was the beneficiary for Aktis and his father Larry Low purportedly owned Country Group.

When queried by Muhammad Shafee whether he agreed the bonds can be sold at a discount, the witness answered “Yes”.

Muhammad Shafee: These bonds were sold by discount? By how much?

Shahrol Azral: I'm not sure exactly.

Muhammad Shafee: It was sold to two Jho Low-linked companies at a discounted price...then it was sold again to a Malaysian government entity at a full price.

Shahrol Azral: I was not aware.

Muhammad Shafee: Without TIA knowledge, he was making a lot of money under the nose of TIA.

Shahrol Azral: Under the nose of Ambank actually.

Muhammad Shafee: Not Ambank. Ambank knew this. Without TIA knowledge.

Shahrol Azral: Oh yes.

Muhammad Shafee: Ambank conspired basically with Jho Low, without TIA knowing.

Shahrol Azral: Correct.

Najib was charged with four counts of using his position to obtain a RM2.3 billion bribe in 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same money.

The trial before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow.


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