Najib had a credit limit of RM3m on two Ambank credit cards, spent RM100,000 in a few months in 2011, former bank official told court
KUALA LUMPUR, September 6 – Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had two credit cards with a combined credit limit of RM3 million from AmBank for years until 2015, such credit limit being the one of the highest ever awarded by AmBank, the High Court heard today.
Yeoh Eng Leong, who was the former senior vice president of AmBank’s retail banking fraud management and authorization department, said this during his testimony in Najib’s 2.28 hijacking trial. RM billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.
Testifying as the 35th witness for the prosecution, Yeoh verified that Najib had held a Visa Platinum credit card and a Mastercard Platinum credit card with the combined credit limit of RM3 million, which he believed to be “one of Ambank’s highest limits”.
Citing his experience, Yeoh said the average credit card limit given to bank customers would be around RM50,000 per credit card.
Asked what a bank would normally consider when deciding what credit limit to give a customer, Yeoh said the bank’s consideration would be based on a person’s income documents and primarily their ability to pay. revenue.
While Najib’s lawyer, Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed, suggested that the bank could take into account the status of a person, for example whether he was a legal person or a head of government when reviewing the credit limit amount, Yeoh disagreed that would be a factor.
When asked if being a long-time customer of the bank would also be a consideration, Yeoh instead replied that it would depend on what other banking facilities a customer has and “not really how long the relationship lasts.”
Yeoh agreed with Wan Aizuddin that it is the bank that offers the credit limit to the customer, also confirming however that he was not the person who handled Najib’s application for the two credit cards and that he would not be aware of the circumstances surrounding the application which justified the credit card limit of RM3 million.
Yeoh also said there were credit card statements for both cards from March 2011 to April 2015 and that both cards were canceled on March 11, 2015.
Based on credit card statements issued during the three months from August to October 2011, Yeoh calculated that the expenses recorded on these two credit cards held by Najib amounted to RM103,948.63.
Based on an August 2011 statement, a July 21, 2011 transaction was recorded using the Mastercard for “The Westin Excelsior R Roma” at €22,461.62 or RM98,013.63.
The Westin Excelsior in Rome, Italy is a five star hotel.
Based on the September 2011 statement, the Visa card was used on August 21, 2011 for three transactions at two luxury brand outlets in KLCC (RM4,145 at Aigner, RM910 at Hugo Boss and also RM880). at Hugo Boss), while there was a UK duty free refund of RM2,190.68 on 30 August 2011.
Yeoh also noted that the holder of the two credit cards – Najib – did not dispute any of the expenses recorded on these credit cards.
Wan Aizuddin sought to suggest that Yeoh would not know if the spending on the two AmBank credit cards was actually made by cardholder Najib.
But Yeoh pointed out, “But there’s no dispute, if that person didn’t use the card, the next month he would have disputed it.”
Wan Aizuddin tried to press the same question again, asking, “It’s under normal circumstances, Mr. Yeoh, I’m specifically asking for this case, you don’t really know if the cardholder is the person. who uses these cards. Yes, no or no comment? »
Yeoh then replied, “I have no comment.”
Later, when asked by Assistant Prosecutor Deepa Nair Thevaharan if AmBank had ever received a complaint from cardholder Najib regarding expenses recorded on the two credit cards which had a combined limit of RM3 million, Yeoh said “There are no disputes over these transactions.”
As to when credit card bills were paid for recorded expenses, the credit card statement dated August 8, 2011 required that the RM98,013.63 for that month be paid by August 28.
Based on AmBank records, Yeoh said Najib tried on August 28, 2011 to pay the August 2011 credit card bill of RM98,013.63 using auto-debit, but the payment was rejected. with the note “payment rejected by automatic debit”, before successfully paying the full amount the next day August 29, 2011.
Regarding the September 2011 credit card bill which was due to be paid by September 28, there was initially an amount of RM5,935 payable on luxury expenses at KLCC mall, but after considering the tax-free refund of RM2,190.68 in the UK, the amount payable is RM3,744.32. The RM3,744.32 was paid by direct debit on September 28, 2011.
The credit card bill dated October 8, 2011 did not record any new expenses.
Yeoh, 61, is now head of fraud management at RHB Bank.
Najib’s 1MDB trial before High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes tomorrow morning.
The AmBank Visa Platinum card with card number 4585 8180 0000 5496 and the AmBank Mastercard Platinum with card number 5289 4380 0003 8961 are the same two AmBank credit cards that were mentioned in Najib’s separate SRC case.
The SRC case had resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of Najib for embezzling RM42 million of funds from 1MDB’s former subsidiary, SRC International Sdn Bhd.
In the SRC case, Yeoh, who was also a witness for the prosecution, had confirmed that these same Mastercard Platinum and Visa Platinum cards belonging to Najib had been used for 10 transactions worth €763,500 (or the equivalent of more than RM3.3 million or RM3,364,670.65) in just one day on August 8, 2014 at the boutique of Swiss luxury jeweler De Grisogono in Italy.
Yeoh had, in the SRC case, also confirmed past use of these credit cards, including a $130,625 (equivalent to RM466,330.11) transaction using the Visa card at Chanel’s luxury store. Outlet in Honolulu, USA on December 22, 2014, and a 127 RM. ,017.46 transaction using Mastercard at Shangri-la hotel in Bangkok, Thailand on January 4, 2015.