Report: 1MDB funds used to buy votes during GE13, court hears

THE High Court here was told on Tuesday (Jan 2) that Datuk Seri Najib Razak received US$681 mil from Tanore Finance Corporation, suspected of being bribe money, to buy votes during the 13th General Election (GE13).

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Senior Supt Nur Aida Arifin, who is the investigating officer (IO) in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) case Najib is facing, said Najib received the money through his AmPrivate Banking account through Falcon Private Bank Singapore in 2013.

Tanore Finance Corporation is a company owned by Eric Tan, who is an associate of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Nur Aida, who is with the Anti-Money Laundering Division, MACC headquarters in Putrajaya, said a complaint regarding the entry of the money was received on May 4, 2015, and the investigation was carried out under Section 16 of the MACC Act 2009.

“The content of the complaint, among other things, states that Najib as the chairman of the Advisory Board of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and the finance minister has received bribes through the public investment fund of 1MDB amounting to RM2.3 bil for his personal benefit,” said the 49th prosecution witness.

She said this when reading out her witness statement during examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor Kamal Baharin Omar in the corruption and money laundering case involving RM2.3 bil belonging to 1MDB filed against Najib.

According to Nur Aida, the focus of her investigation was on the entry of a very large amount of money into Najib’s two personal accounts between 2011 and 2014.

“It is about Datuk Seri Najib who is said to have used his position to get bribes and during that period he was the prime minister, finance minister and also chairman of the 1MDB Advisory Board.

“I conducted an investigation based on documents obtained from several parties including Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and the Finance Ministry,” she said.

Najib was sworn in as Malaysia’s sixth prime minister on April 3, 2009, and reappointed to the post on May 6, 2013 after Barisan Nasional (BN) won 133 parliamentary seats in GE13.

Najib, 70, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3 bil in 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. – Jan 2, 2024


Main pic credit: Bernama 

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