Najib, Rosmah and 'gift givers' to be quizzed soon in 1MDB probe

Frederick Owens
June 28, 2018

Cash, jewelry, luxury handbags and other items worth up to £206 million have been uncovered in police raids linked to Malaysia's former prime minister, Najib Razak, Sky News reports.

Since their election loss, Najib and Rosmah have been questioned by anti-graft investigators over allegations that money linked to the state fund ended up in Najib's bank accounts.

Twelve thousand pieces of jewellery were seized, he said, amounting to about 800 million ringgit (approximately Rs 1,300 crore) at retail prices. A spokesman for Najib, who has consistently denied wrongdoing, couldn't immediately comment after the police briefing.

The single most expensive item was a yellow-gold necklace with diamonds, valued at 6.4 million ringgit, excluding workmanship. He says the jewellery includes 2 200 rings, 1 400 necklaces, 2 100 bracelets, 2 800 pair of earrings, 1 600 brooches and 14 tiaras.

Last month, Singh announced that 26 different currencies totaling $28.6 million had been taken from an empty apartment in the same building as Najib's son and daughter.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Comm Datuk Seri Amar Singh said the couple's alleged "gift givers" will be called in as well.

"What we did was the premises we conducted the search was not in our target at all, we somehow got info, we developed the info, and we got a warrant to conduct the search which was at B45 Pavilion Residences.it was an empty premises, just a few tables and it contained the seized items", he said.

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A total of 567 handbags were also seized, including 272 Hermes bags worth 51.3 million ringgit, police said, adding that the value of the other handbags was still being calculated.

The police also found 423 watches worth 78 million ringgit and 234 pairs of sunglasses.

"So we are certain with the expertise we called in and we stand by it", he told the media in a press conference during the closing of Ops Selamat for 2018 in conjunction of Hari Raya.

It took officials five weeks, from May 21 to June 25, to count up the items and calculate their value, Amar said. His son-in-law is Daniyar Nazarbayev, a nephew of the Kazakhstan President, and he allegedly gave Rosmah many handbags.

Amar said the items were worth between 910 million ringgit ($225 million) and 1.1 billion ringgit ($273 million).

Najib, in some of his most extensive comments yet on the 1MDB scandal, told Reuters last week that he did not know if hundreds of millions of dollars that moved through his personal account was from 1MDB, and if money from the fund was eventually laundered to acquire assets globally, including yachts, paintings, gems and prime real estate.

The US Department of Justice has said a total of US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from the fund.

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