KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 (Bernama) -- The High Court was told that all board members of SRC International Sdn Bhd made a visit to a bank in Lugano, Switzerland, sometime in September 2013 to ensure that the funds belonging to the company are kept safe and secure.
Former SRC International board member Tan Sri Ismee Ismail said the entire board of directors of the company had visited the headquarters of Bank BSI Limited, now known EFG International, in Lugano, Switzerland, to ensure that the funds were still at the bank.
He said this during the examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff on the 21st day of the trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s draft case involving SRC International funds totalling RM42 million today.
Ishak: In September 2013 (referring to the SRC International’s meeting minutes for that year), did you go to Switzerland?
Ismee: Yes, I did. The entire board of directors did, including myself, Datuk Rashidi Che Omar, Datuk Suboh Mat Yassin, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil.
Ishak: Was the visit consented by the shareholders?
Ismee: It was an initiative taken by the management. I did not know whether or not it was consented by the shareholders.
Ishak: Why (all of) you had to go?
Ismee: We had to go because many issues had arisen regarding the funds in Switzerland. We had to go and check with the bank because, all this while, the management only talked about it. We went to get comfort that our money is secured in BSI Bank.
When asked about the ‘management’ he was referring to, the former CEO of Pilgrims Fund Board (Tabung Haji) said it was Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil as the CEO of SRC International.
Ishak: So, what was the result of your visit to the bank?
Ismee: Personally, I was relieved (to learn) that BSI is a huge bank.
Ishak: Why was it important to ensure that the money is in the bank?
Ismee: To ensure that the money is still there, it is important for us to make sure it is there, in the bank.
Ishak: How do you know the money is really there?
Ismee: Of course they did not show us the money, but we had meetings with their very senior officers, I think we met the president (of the bank). I don’t remember their names, but they gave us explanation about the bank’s operations. We take it as a comfort that the money is there.
In reference to one of the meeting minutes which stated that a sum of money were brought back from Switzerland after the visit, the 39th prosecution witness said the money were brought back as they had not been used for their original investment purposes.
He said among the money brought back were the funds meant for investment in a joint venture with an Abu Dhabi investment company, Aabar Investments.
Earlier, when asked on who was tasked record all the minutes of the SRC board meetings from 2011 to 2013, Ismee said they were prepared by Terence Geh who represented the company secretary.
On the minutes of that particular board meeting in 2013, which did not have his signature as the chairman of the meeting, Ismee said he was not aware of the matter.
“Normally, all meeting minutes will be submitted for me to sign but the minutes of the meeting being referred to now (2013), did not have my signature on it. However, I was made aware of it only when questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. There were no signed copies,” he said.
To Ishak’s question on whether he knew the whereabouts of the 2013 meeting minutes that he had signed, Ismee said: “I do not know and was not aware.”
The trial before Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues tomorrow.