An investigation paper prepared by Dato’ Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull in 2015 revealed that Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz knew all along that the RM2.6 billion Najib received was a donation from Saudi Arabia.
The findings reveal that it was Zeti who advised Najib to park the money in his Ambank account.
Top ranking officials from Ambank were even given clearance by Zeti to have the money channelled into the said account.
Despite this, the bank took every precautionary measure there was to be taken before agreeing to proceed with the transfer.
Yet, the bank undertook to file a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) with Bank Negara without making known the reason it decided to do so.
THE THIRD FORCE
On the 11th of June 2018, The Third Force published excerpts of an investigation paper (Kertas Siasatan terhadap Najib Razak) prepared in 2015 by the current head of the MACC, Dato’ Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull. The paper concerned Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak and the RM2.6 billion that ended in his bank account. According to the paper, the then Governor of Bank Negara, Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, knew all along that the money was a donation from Saudi Arabia.
The findings reveal that it was Zeti who advised Najib to park the money in his Ambank account. A well-placed source made it known that top-ranking officials from the bank were privy to every bit of information Zeti had and knew the money was clean. The Managing Director (MD) of Ambank Jalan Raja Chulan, Cheah Tek Kuang, was given assurance that the money was a donation and not proceeds from money laundering.
It was she who told Cheah not to worry and assured him that the transaction was being monitored by Bank Negara and the Riyadh Ministry of Finance. Cheah then went to Najib’s house and was told by him that the money was indeed a donation from the Prince of Saudi. The Ambank MD was satisfied with what he heard and agreed to proceed with the RM2.6 billion transfer.
Yet, not long thereafter, Cheah undertook to file a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) with Bank Negara without making known the reason he did so. Rumour had it that the report was hand delivered by Cheah to Zeti at an unspecified location in Kuala Lumpur. At the time, Ambank had long been facing compliance issues that concerned the Statutory Reporting on Error Framework (SREF) and the safekeeping of banking documents.
Zeti never took the matter seriously.
However, the minute Sarawak Report broke the internet with fresh reports on 1MDB, she slapped Ambank with a RM53.7 million penalty and leaked the matter to a third party. The online media quickly became abuzz with news that Ambank had been penalised for non-compliance by its consumer and Islamic banking units. Although the exact nature of non-compliance was never revealed, I was told that the penalty had to do with the RM2.6 billion that entered into Najib’s bank account.
And that’s weird.
The thing is, not only was Ambank given clearance by Zeti to proceed with the transfers, Cheah was himself told that the RM2.6 billion was a donation from the Prince of Saudi. Still, the fact that Cheah submitted a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) goes a long way to show that the bank had observed all relevant protocols. Yet, on the 24th of November 2015, Ambank filed with Bursa Malaysia an agreement to pay the RM53.7 million penalty despite not having committed any wrongdoing.
The agreement was splashed all over the media
The coverage was timed perfectly to coincide with fake news reports alleging that “RM2.6 billion had been siphoned from 1MDB.” The whole affair seemed orchestrated to imply that Najib abused his power in office by getting Ambank to funnel dirty money. Right after the media went to town with the affair, the internet was abuzz with rumours that Najib was stealing taxpayer-money while the rakyat suffered due to the high-cost of living.
To be continued…