1MDB trial: US$9m flowed from Jho Low’s firm to Hollywood company of Najib’s stepson

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FOTO: NSTP/HAFIZ SOHAIMI

 

KUALA LUMPUR — Good Star Ltd that investigators say is controlled by Low Taek Jho channelled US$9 million to Riza Aziz’s Red Granite Pictures, the High Court heard today.

Prosecutors in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1MDB corruption trial produced today documents showing the fund transfer via RBS Coutts Bank, Zurich in Switzerland to his stepson’s firm that was responsible for Hollywood blockbuster The Wolf of Wall Street.

Lead senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Sri Gopal Sri Ram brought out the documents during examination-in-chief of 1MDB former chief executive Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi.

However, Shahrol said he was not aware of any such transfers.

Sri Ram: In the course of the 1MDB exposé, did you come across a company by the name of Red Granite?

Shahrol: Yes, I read about Red Granite through media articles in 2015.

Sr Ram: In what connection?

Shahrol: Red Granite was the producer of the film Wolf of Wall Street that used money allegedly siphoned from 1MDB.

Sri Ram then produced a document showing Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, better known as Riza Aziz, as the sole registered director for Red Granite.

He then asked the witness if he knew of Riza’s relations to Najib.

Shahrol: He is Najib’s stepson.

In his opening statement for the trial, Sri Ram stated that Good Star Ltd is under the control of fugitive financier Low or Jho Low.

On July 5 this year, Riza pleaded not guilty to five charges of money laundering involving US$248 million (RM1.25 billion) which was allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.

On the first count, the producer of the film The Wolf of Wall Street was charged with receiving US$1,173,104 in proceeds from unlawful activities through a money transfer transaction from an account belonging to Good Star Limited at RBS Coutts, Zurich, Switzerland, to an account belonging to Red Granite Productions Inc at City National Bank, Los Angeles, United States.

Riza was also charged with committing a similar offence, involving US$9 million, through a money transfer transaction from the same account on September 10, 2012, and October 10, 2012, at the same place.

On the third and fourth charges, he was charged with committing a similar offence, involving US$133 million and US$60 million, through money transfer transactions from an account number belonging to Aabar Investment PJS Limited at BSI SA, Lugano, Switzerland, to an account number belonging to Red Granite Capital Ltd at BSI Bank Limited, Singapore.

On the fifth count, Riza was charged with a similar offence, involving US$45 million, at the same place on November 14, 2012.

All the charges were made under Section 4(1) (a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 which provides for a maximum fine of RM5 million or imprisonment of up to five years, or both, upon conviction.

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