SRC: Shahrol Said Unaware That Nik Faisal Tried To Hijack Funds From Bank

Finance Ministry had instructed that the funds should be returned to the Treasury, and nowhere else!

KUALA LUMPUR – Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah, the defence counsel for former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, today told the SRC International trial that he had come across a letter from Julius Baer Switzerland bank in Hong Kong indicating that some USD65 million in a SRC-related account was asked to be transferred to an account in Singapore of which former SRC International Chief Executive Officer, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil is a director.

When questioned by Shafee, SRC witness, Datuk Shahrol Azrai Ibrahim Halmi, a former 1MDB Chief Executive Officer, said that he was not aware of such a letter and that he is not a signatory to the Singapore account belonging to PT Sekuritas Sinar Mas.

Shafee: Are you a director of PT Sinar Mas Sekuritas?

Shahrol: No.

Shahrol then said he had never seen the letter before.

“Now that I have seen this document and thinking back, I can comfortably say that I am not a signatory because in order for me to be a signatory, I would have to give a copy of my passport to Nik, which I was not asked to,” said Shahrol.

Shafee said that this is an official letter from Julius Baer and it is recorded as such.

“SRC has asked the bank to transfer this huge amount of USD65 million to Sinar Mas account and you know at that time SRC and 1MDB was already facing controversy, with red flags about the two companies.

“This document came to my hands after a lot of research by Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Siregar (the former Secretary General of the Treasury, Ministry of Finance.”

He added that as Najib was the Minister of Finance then, his attention was brought to this letter, thus he had instructed for the funds to be transferred to the Treasury.

Sharol Not Informed By Nik Faisal

Shafee asked again whether Nik Faisal has never communicated with him (Shahrol) on this?

Shahrol: No, he has not.

Shafee: Are you aware that at least through this process that Nik Faisal was trying to hijack the money into Sekuritas?

Shahrol: I have no knowledge.

Shafee said that he has a witness who has called the bank to verify. At that Shahrol said that he would like to speak to the witness.

At that Shafee answered: “No, the witness will definitely be my witness.”

Shafee disclosed that in accordance with the anti-money laundering bank act, the bank needed to see some kind of documentation of payment (invoice) from PT Sinar Mas Sekuritas to SRC when in October 2016, the bank received instructions from SRC to transfer the funds to PT Sinar Mas Sekuritas account in Singapore.

“You see, the bank was concerned that they cannot simply transfer the money. They needed to see some involvement in terms of business transactions between SRC and Sinar Mas. So they were reluctant to transfer.

“On 23 January 2017, the bank sent a letter to the Ministry of Finance informing the status of the account and requested your assistance to help resolve the status of the account.

No Response

“As of today the bank has not received any response from SRC nor the MOF and consequently unable to effect the transfers and close the account. They wrote again to request the assistance to help resolve the current impasse so that they may proceed with the transfer of the assets and closure of the account,” disclosed Shafee.

The senior lawyer also asked Shahrol whether he is aware that the MOF instructions were that the money should be returned to the Treasury and to nobody else.

Shafee: Are you aware of it?

Shahrol: No I’m not.

The document was then recorded as an exhibit and Shafee would inform later whether the witness he mentioned above would be asked to take the witness stand. – NMH

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