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Najib received $648 million in his private account in 2013, 1MDB trial was told

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak received a total sum of RM2.08 billion (about S$648 million) in his private bank account through nine transactions in 2013, the High Court heard on Monday.

The branch manager of AmBank (Malaysia) at its Jalan Raja Chulan branch, Ms R. Uma Devi, testified that the funds that went into Najib's bank account were through transactions between March and April 2013. Najib's account at the Malaysian bank ends with the digits 694.

Based on the account statement, Ms Uma Devi said RM155 million were deposited three times in Najib's account on March 22, 2013.

Four days later on March 26, a sum of RM188,001,963.02 was credited into the account.

The witness testified in Najib's trial that on March 28 that year, RM231,150,000 and RM138,824,962.98 more went into the same account in two transactions.

Ms Uma Devi was testifying at the second corruption trial of Najib linked to troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

She said there were three transactions on April 8, 9 and 10 with the amounts of RM152.5 million, RM304 million and RM602 million banked in, respectively.

Najib is in jail

Najib, 69, is currently serving 12 years in jail for corruption tied to SRC International Bhd, a former unit of 1MDB, after the apex Federal Court on Aug 23 upheld the conviction by the High Court and the Appeals Court.

Monday's trial is one of other graft trials the ex-premier is facing linked to 1MDB from which billions were siphoned.

The United States Department of Justice has said that US$4.5 billion (S$6.4 billion) were stolen from 1MDB by top officials and their associates.

In the ongoing trial, Najib is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.28 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money-laundering involving the same amount.

The High Court is currently hearing the testimony from Ms Uma Devi, the 37th prosecution witness.

Najib started 1MDB when he became prime minister and finance minister in 2009. He was also chairman of the board of advisers of 1MDB until it was dissolved in 2016.

Both 1MDB and SRC International are fully owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated, a company under Malaysia's finance ministry.

The government's lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram in his opening statement of the trial, told the court that the RM2.08 billion were from Tanore Finance, and the monies had in fact originated from 1MDB, TheEdge online news reported on Monday.

Tanore Finance was controlled by Eric Tan Kim Loong, an alleged associate of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Mr Gopal Sri Ram had told the court that the money laundering charges faced by Najib in the ongoing case involved a sum of RM2,081,476,926.

He said that RM2,034,350,000 were later transferred from Najib's account to Tanore Singapore between Aug 2 and Aug 23, 2013.

The balance of RM22,649,000 was used to pay four entities and an individual.

"It is the prosecution's case that all these payments benefited the accused," said Mr Gopal Sri Ram.

The hearing will continue before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah on Tuesday.

Najib RazakcorruptionCOURT & CRIME1MDB