Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor have criticised the pre-dawn raids at their property on Friday, in which police seized 72 suitcases of jewels and cash and 284 boxes of designer handbags.
Live broadcast on Facebook of the 3 am raid was watched by tens of thousands of people, as police loaded five trucks with seized luxury items, Reuters reported. The condominium raided on Friday was just one of several locations linked to Razak’s family that were searched. The Birkin bags that were seized possibly cost as much as three times the prime minister’s annual salary, police said.
Razak has been embroiled in a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal. He lost the national election on May 9. The new prime minister and Razak’s former mentor, Mahathir Mohamad, had said he would re-open investigation into the case, and on May 12, barred him from leaving the country.
Razak’s lawyer, Harpal Singh Grewal, said his client was “very unhappy” that police had confiscated clothes and shoes belonging to his children, The Guardian reported. Mansor said through her lawyers on Saturday that the “media hailstorm” was “a seemingly targeted vilification of our family to provoke public anger”. “Enforcement agencies should not be feeding social media trolls,” she said.
Amar Singh, the head of Malaysia’s commercial crime investigation unit, said on Friday that the amount of jewellery that was seized was “rather big” and he was not able to estimate it yet.
Meanwhile, Mongolia has called for the new Malaysian government to investigate the murder of a Mongolian model in 2006. The model was shot dead and blown up with explosives outside Kuala Lumpur, for which two former police officers were sentenced to death in 2015. They were part of Razak’s security detail, and who ordered them to kill her is still unclear.