KUALA LUMPUR — Sept. 25, 2019: A prosecution witness today accused fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho alias Jho Low of submitting a fake agreement to a bank to enable US$700 million to be deposited into the accounts of his company Gold Star Limited.
According to former 1Malaysia Development Berhad CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, Low had submitted the fake investment management agreement to RBS Coutts which was purportedly an agreement between 1MDB and Good Star.
Shahrul claimed that he only knew about the matter after he was asked by an officer of Deutsche Bank (Malaysia) Berhad who was managing the accounts of 1MDB, Jacqueline Ho, on incomplete details.
The witness had said that he had received an order for a transact of US$1 billion to two accounts from the lawyers of PetroSaudi International in September 2009.
The order was to transfer of US$300 million to JVCo (the 1MDB-PSI joint-venture) at J.P. Morgan and US$700 million to RBS Coutts.
‘’I only received the account numbers and details without the names of the recipients. I was not suspicious because they had been checked and scrutinised by 1MDB’s lawyers.
‘’Based on the directives for the payments, I directed for payment from 1MDB to RBS Coutts on the same day. After that, there were queries from Deutschebank on Good Star and I asked Jho Low, who gave me details of the accounts of Good Star,” testified Shahrol.
However, Shahrol later saw differences in the accounts of Good Star, namely the size and types of letters used, prompting him to immediately ask Jho Low.
‘’I was forced to ask Jho Low on the details of the account of the recipients because I myself had no knowledge of the matter and only followed the directives of Jho Low who I believed had obtained the approval of Najib.
‘’Furthermore, the important thing for me at that time was that they (money transfers) had been scrutinised by the lawyers and there was nothing that I could query when it involved the law.
‘’Only now I know that Jho Low submitted to RBS Coutts an investment management agreement between 1MDB and Good Star which was signed by one of the 1MDB executive directors, Casey Tang.”
Shahrol maintained that he had never given Tang the mandate to sign any agreement with Good Star.
‘’During the period I was 1MDB CEO, no business dealing was done with Good Star. I also confirm that the agreement was never tabled at 1MDB board meeting. I also confirm that I had never received or seen this (agreement) document prior to this,’’ he said.
Shahrol is a prosecution witness in the trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who faces 25 charges involving RM2.3 billion of 1MDB money.
The trial before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow. — Bernama