1MDB probe: 72 bags of jewels, cash seized from Najib’s homes

Malaysian investigators have seized 72 bags of jewellery and cash and 284 boxes of luxury handbags from properties said to be linked to former prime minister, Najib Razak, during fresh raids on Friday, state news agency Bernama reported.

Najib, who suffered shock defeat in last week’s general elections, has been accused of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars from the 1MDB state development fund and seven countries are investigating him in related cases.

Friday’s raids were carried out on luxury condominiums and offices around Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya linked to 1MDB investigations.

Director of Commercial Crime Investigation Department, Amar Singh (pictured), said officers are yet to calculate the total value of the seizures, hinting at more raids in the days ahead.

Among the goods seized were handbags made by luxury brands Hermes and Louis Vuitton. An iron safe found in one of Najib’s residences is being drilled open.

Six properties had been searched as part of the 1MDB probe. They include the ex-prime minister’s office, official residence and four other homes, Amar said.

Najib and his wife were barred from leaving the country earlier this week amid reports on social media that they were planning to take a private jet to Jakarta.

Police began the raids on Najib’s properties late on Wednesday.

Najib has denied corruption allegations which were disproved during an investigation launched by his government.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who won the election on the promise to root out corruption, instructed police to reopen the 1MDB case soon after taking office.

He also told Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali to go on leave as the official was suspected to have helped Najib in covering up the scandal.

Amar denied allegations that prolonged police searches at Najib’s home in Jalan Langgak Duta has caused mental distress and anguish to Najib’s family and it amounted to harassment.

Amar said his team members are doing their job professionally.