Malaysia Seizes Najib’s ‘Rather Big’ Trove of Jewels and Handbags

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The police investigating Malaysia’s former prime minister, Najib Razak, mentioned they seized greater than 350 packing containers and baggage containing money, jewellery and designer purses early Friday throughout searches of three residences.

Included within the haul had been 284 packing containers of purses and 72 items of baggage containing money, jewellery, watches and different valuables, mentioned Amar Singh, chief of the police industrial crimes unit.

He mentioned that the police wanted to evaluate the seized objects earlier than they may put a worth on the haul. But the quantity of jewellery, he mentioned, “is rather big.”

Mr. Najib and his spouse, Rosmah Mansor, are on the middle of a scandal over an estimated $7.5 billion that went lacking from a authorities funding fund, 1Malyasia Development Berhad, which he oversaw. Authorities say that $731 million from the fund was deposited in Mr. Najib’s private checking account.

Mr. Najib and Ms. Rosmah are barred from leaving the nation.

Ms. Rosmah, who throughout Mr. Najib’s time in energy usually appeared in public carrying costly jewellery and carrying Hermès Birkin purses, grew to become a logo of the household’s excesses.

Her son Riza Aziz, Mr. Najib’s stepson, used cash taken from the Malaysian fund to provide films, together with “The Wolf of Wall Street,” based on the United States Department of Justice, which is looking for to recuperate $1.7 billion it says was laundered by way of American monetary establishments.

Video posted by Star TV confirmed the police wheeling confiscated objects in procuring carts and loading them right into a truck exterior the Pavilion Residences, a luxurious condominium constructing within the coronary heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital.

“We confiscated 284 boxes containing handbags,” Mr. Amar Singh advised reporters because the police loaded the truck. “We also confiscated 72 luggage bags which contain cash of various denominations, jewelry and other valuables.”

Some luxurious purses can promote for $100,000 or extra. It is unclear what number of had been within the packing containers seized from the Pavilion flats.

In a separate search of Mr. Najib’s home, the police seized 10 watches, most of them Rolexes, and 35 purses of numerous manufacturers, together with Chanel, Gucci, Versace, Prada and Louis Vuitton.

Mr. Amar Singh mentioned investigators had confiscated paperwork associated to 1MDB from the previous prime minister’s workplace throughout a separate search.

Mr. Najib’s lawyer, Harpal Singh Grewal, complained Thursday that the search of the residence was taking too lengthy, and that the police had been making an excessive amount of noise by drilling by way of a protected for hours to open it.

“The search conducted in the premises and the items seized thus far would seem of insignificant value and the continued presence of police officers in his residence and the drilling of the old safe strongly suggests unwarranted harassment,” he mentioned in an announcement distributed to the information media.

Sharon Tan contributed reporting.

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