1MDB trial: Jho Low contacted me when Najib's credit cards had issues or when money was coming in, ex-banker says

Published date02 February 2023
Publication titleMalay Mail Online

AmBank's former banker Joanna Yu today told the High Court that now-fugitive Low Taek Jho was the individual who personally alerted her whenever money was expected to come into former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's bank accounts, or whenever Najib's credit card purchases were unable to go through.

Yu was explaining why she had contacted Low regarding transactions in Najib's private AmBank accounts, such as in urgent situations to prevent cheques issued by Najib from bouncing due to insufficient funds in the accounts.

As the former AmBank relationship manager who contacted Low or Najib's authorised account handler Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, Yu was testifying as the 41st prosecution witness in Najib's trial over the misappropriation of 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) RM2.28 billion which allegedly entered his personal AmBank accounts.

Najib's lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah today repeatedly questioned Yu on why she had contacted Low instead of the authorised account holder Nik Faisal.

For example, Shafee highlighted text records on September 10, 2014, when Yu texted Low via BlackBerryMessenger (BBM) regarding a RM4.7 million cheque which was issued when there was barely RM1 million in Najib's account.

Explaining why she did not call Nik Faisal over her concerns that Najib's cheque would not be honoured, Yu said the bank branch would call Nik Faisal and she would then contact Low if the matter could not be resolved.

'If we can't get hold of Nik or if there's nothing being done, we called Jho,' she explained.

She noted that Low - better known as Jho Low - had insisted that Najib's cheques could not be allowed to bounce, and that the bank had to call someone as the cheques would otherwise bounce.

Shafee then confronted Yu by asking why she kept on contacting Low regarding Najib's accounts when he is not a mandate holder, or not a person whom Najib had given written authorisation to handle his personal AmBank accounts.

Yu pointed out that Low was the one who had got Najib's accounts to be opened at AmBank, alluding to how he had told her that Najib intended to open accounts with the bank.

'And then when Jho brought the account to the bank, it was only Jho I had contact with. In many instances when account is overdrawn or Datuk Seri Najib is issuing cheques or money is incoming, Jho is the one who informed me. I take it - I had no doubt that Jho was in touch, in contact with account holder,' she said.

'Or we had Jho contact me, MNR credit...

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