Malaysian Police on Wednesday revealed that the total value of jewellery, handbags, watches and other luxury items seized from several apartments linked to former Prime Minister Najib Razak was up to nearly 1.1 billion ringgit (approximately Rs 1,800 crore or $273 million).
Razak is embroiled in a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal. He resisted demands to step down in 2015 despite reports of financial mismanagement at the government-owned company 1Malaysia Development Berhad, and allegations that he received $681 million (Rs 4,425 crore) in his personal bank account. Razak has denied any wrongdoing in the case.
After he lost the elections to his former mentor Mahathir Mohamad on May 9, he was barred from leaving the country and the case was reopened. A dozen properties, including those owned by Razak, his son and daughter, were searched since May 18.
“We couldn’t do the counting at the premises because the numbers were too huge,” Amar Singh, the head of the commercial crime division, said, Reuters reported.
Singh said 22 officials used six machines over three days to count the cash seized, adding that this was the country’s biggest-ever seizure. The total cash seized was around 116.7 million ringgit (approximately Rs 198 crore), he said.
Twelve thousand pieces of jewellery were seized, he said, amounting to about 800 million ringgit (approximately Rs 1,300 crore) at retail prices. A diamond necklace with yellow gold was the single most expensive item – worth 6.4 million ringgit or about Rs 10 crore.
The police seized a total of 567 handbags, 423 watches and 234 pairs of sunglasses, Singh said, adding that officials were yet to establish the owners of these items.