DAP wants the police and Bank Negara to investigate allegations that officials from a local bank actively conspired with controversial billionaire Jho Low to launder funds.
“As the parties responsible for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Act (Amla), the Royal Malaysian Police and particularly, Bank Negara, must take immediate actions to investigate the very serious allegations.
“They must be investigated, and if found true, concrete actions must be taken to protect the integrity of our banking institutions and financial system.
Pua was commenting on a report published in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Sept 6, which made very specific allegations against officials in a local bank of facilitating and abetting money laundering when billions of ringgit was purportedly transferred into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s bank account.
In making the allegations, the financial paper substantiated the claims with transcripts of alleged private conversations between senior bank officials and Jho Low, who was supposedly carrying out the transactions on behalf of the prime minister.
This was after Najib allegedly gave Jho Low access to his account, which WSJ claimed was related in the investigative documents it sighted.
According to the WSJ, Jho Low’s primary contact at the bank was allegedly a banker he had warned, via BlackBerry, to communicate discreetly, while a senior executive supposedly handled the account personally.
“On the assumption that the messages are genuine, they clearly indicate a conspiracy by the above parties to, at best, hide the transactions from scrutiny, and at worst, blatant masking of the illicit transactions as legitimate ones,” said Pua.
According to WSJ, Jho Low sent hampers of food and lunched with one of the bank officials who also advised him on which foreign bank to use for transactions, leading him to those with less oversight over large transfers of funds.
“The above conversations raise major concerns of a high-level conspiracy to enable the money-laundering transactions to take place without being questioned or detected,” said Pua.
He warned that if such practices truly exist and nothing is done to root them out, Malaysia may become an infamous haven for the rich and powerful criminals to abuse the local banking institutions to hide and launder their ill-gotten wealth.<