Najib’s ex-aide privately received pocket money from Jho Low, court hears

For the duration of the 1MDB trial, TTF will carry key testimonies and reports involving both prosecution and defence witnesses. Source (pic): TTF

Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, the former special officer to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, admitted that he had received pocket money from fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho during official overseas trips.

He said Low gave him money on several occasions, but could only recall the trips to New York and London.

Asked whether other officials received money from Low, the witness said he did not know, adding that Low did not give the money to him openly.

On the US$200,000 loan he took from Low, Amhari said he did not know that the transfer of foreign money into a local bank account would be flagged by the central bank despite previously working with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).


KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, the former special officer to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, admitted that he had received pocket money from fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho during official overseas trips.

Amhari, who is the eighth prosecution witness in Najib’s trial involving the misappropriation of RM2. 3 billion of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds said Low or Jho Low gave him thousands of dollars during such overseas trips.

He said the money was for travel expenses when accompanying Najib who was then prime minister during official trips.


He said Low gave him money on several occasions, but could only recall the trips to New York and London.

Under cross examination by Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Amhari said Low would usually be there during the trips.

Shafee: You have received more money than this from Jho Low?

Amhari: Yes.

Shafee: How much?

Amhari: I can’t remember… When there is a trip, he would give travel expenses and things like that.

Shafee: When did Jho Low give money when you travel overseas? Which country?

Amhari: Various, I can’t recall everything… New York.

Shafee: Have you been receiving money all the time that you can’t remember precisely?

Amhari: (I received) a few thousands (US dollars).

Shafee: This was pocket money from Jho Low?

Amhari: Correct

Shafee: You received more money, but surely you remember some events. New York is one.

Amhari: Maybe in London.

Shafee: With the prime minister?

Amhari: Yes.

Shafee: On an official trip?

Amhari: Yes.

Shafee: Most of the time on official trips … would Jho Low be there?

Amhari: Yes

Asked whether other officials received money from Low, the witness said he did not know.

He added that Low did not give the money to him openly.

On the US$200,000 loan he took from Low, Amhari said he did not know that the transfer of foreign money into a local bank account would be flagged by the central bank.

Despite previously working with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the witness said he was unaware of the regulation.

He said Maybank gave him a call to query about the money that was wired into his Maybank current account on April 5, 2011, but there was no follow up call after that and he assumed that nothing was wrong.

“I told them that it was a bridging loan to pay my current housing loan,” he said, adding that Maybank did not ask him anything further.

Asked whether he knew that it was an offence to bring in money from abroad without clearance from the central bank, the witness said he was not.

Shafee: Are you aware not getting clearance for the money is an offence?

Amhari: No, I’m not.

Shafee: Are you sure? You worked at BNM before.

Amhari: BNM is large and I’m was with the economics department.

Shafee: So you do not know it is an offence?

Amhari: I don’t. The Maybank officer would have alerted me if there is something wrong with the money.

Shafee: So you’re saying that the bank did not alert you?

Amhari: I’m saying that there was never a query so I thought everything was good.

Shafee: It was your duty and not the bank to declare the money?

Amhari: I am not aware.

The trial continues tomorrow before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

Najib, 66, is facing four charges of having used his position to obtain gratification totalling RM2.3 billion in 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same money.

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