Malaysian police earlier today seized a major haul of luxury goods from properties linked to ex-Premier Najib Razak.
Police have been searching Najib’s home and other places linked to him as part of an investigation into the scandal-plagued state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), an extraordinary turn of events that few would have predicted before a May 9 general election that he was expected to win.
Items such as Birkin handbags from Hermes, jewelry, watches and other valuables were carted out of the condominium at the upmarket Pavilion Residences, in the pre-dawn hours, police said.
Commercial crime director Amar Singh Ishar Singh told local media that investigators were still trying to determine the value of the haul. In all, 284 boxes of luxury handbags as well as 72 bags of jewelry and cash were seized.
“Our personnel checked these bags and discovered various currencies including; Malaysian ringgit and US dollars; watches, and jewelry in 72 bags,” Singh said. “Exactly how much jewelry, I would not be able to say, because we know that we confiscated bags containing jewelry and the amount of jewelry is rather large.”
Singh said the valuables were seized late on Wednesday in raids on six properties linked to the former premier, including the prime minister’s office and official residence as well as four private residences.
Shortly after Najib and his long-ruling political coalition were defeated in the polls, new Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, barred him and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, from leaving the country.
Mahathir, 92, who was once Najib’s mentor, says there is sufficient evidence to investigate the multi-billion-dollar scandal at the 1MDB fund that Najib founded.Najib denies any wrongdoing. His lawyer on Thursday denounced the long search of Najib’s home as “harassment’’.
Critics of Najib have often accused his wife of lavish spending, which they say was done with public funds.
Rosmah’s alleged excesses included designer handbags, watches and jewelry, which she bought while traveling around the world, have been widely reported, although she has never spoken about it herself.