KUALA LUMPUR — Oct. 7, 2019: A former CEO of 1Malaysia Development Berhad became suspicious of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho aka Jho Low after the authorities started investigating the company in 2015.
According to Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, he became suspicious of Low when he was about to be shown the flows of funds involved during the recording of his statements either by the police or anti-corruption officers.
“I don’t recall whether it was the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission or the police… it was probably around the end of the year (2015),” he explained when cross-examined by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the lead counsel for former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who is facing 25 charges involving money from 1MDB.
Shahrol described Low as a “late person” capable of understanding and getting things done very quickly.
“He articulated things well and the quality of a discussion is accurately high as he could understand thing quickly,” said Shahrol to Shafee.
Shahrol first had contact from Low in 2007 when he received a phone message saying that Low wanted to do something with his company, UBG (Utama Banking Group).
“As the managing director of UBG, he asked me to drop by at his office to discuss. He got my number from a friend.
“I then met with Jho Low to find out what he wanted to do and what he needed to be done with Accenture,” he said.
(Shahrol was an analyst at the Andersen Consulting firm, which was then known as Accenture.)
Asked by Shafee on why Low had chosen him, Shahrol said Low had pegged him as “a person who is not a busybody”.
When asked by Shafee if Low liked his character as he would just take instructions without knowing the ultimate journey, Shahrol repied “Not quite. I just took enough information necessary to deliver the outcome as I understood it. Anything other than the outcome not relevant to the task at hand, I trusted other people to look it”.