Tuesday, October 27, 2020

1MDB Case: US$700mil loaned to Jho Low’s company without appropriate approvals

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An executive director of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), who is currently at large, went behind his boss’s back by signing an agreement between 1MDB and Good Star Ltd, involving a US$700mil (RM2.93bil) loan repayment.

The High Court heard from former 1MDB CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, 49, that he had never permitted Tang Keng Chee, or Casey Tang, to sign any agreements with Good Star, a company that belonged to fugitive financier Low Taek Jho.

The witness, who was being questioned conducted by lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, said this when he was referred to an investment management agreement between Good Star and 1MDB dated Sept 29,2009.

“This document involved Good Star and 1MDB but I never knew about this and I had never ordered Casey to sign any agreements with Good Star.

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“Casey was only given the mandate to manage Foreign Exchange Transaction with Deutsche Bank (Malaysia) Bhd for a US$1bil (RM4.18bil) transaction through a director’s circular resolution (DCR) dated Sept 26,2009,” he said.

The witness also confirmed that for as long as he was the CEO of 1MDB, there was never a business transaction conducted with Good Star.

“I confirmed that this agreement was never presented in any of the board of directors meetings.

“I have never received or seen this document before this,” he added.

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The witness said he later realised that Low had handed over the fake investment management agreement, which was signed by Tang, to a private banking company RBS Coutts.

Najib, 66, faces 25 charges in total – four for abuse of power that allegedly brought him financial benefit to the tune of RM2.3bil; and 21 for money laundering involving the same amount of money.

He faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of up to five times the sum or value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty.

Shahrol will continue his testimony before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah on Wednesday (Sept 25).

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