Police seize £200m including cash, jewellery and handbags linked to ex-Malaysia PM

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Police raids linked to Malaysia’s former prime minister have uncovered cash, jewellery, luxury handbags and other items worth up to £206m.

Ousted leader Najib Razak is at the centre of an investigation into billions of dollars missing from a state fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Allegations of massive corruption were a major factor behind his shock election loss in May to a reformist alliance headed by 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad.

Amar Singh, Malaysia police’s head of commercial crime, said raids on six properties linked to Mr Razak had led to the seizure of 12,000 pieces of jewellery valued at 880m ringgit (£165m).

Cash in 26 different currencies was also discovered, worth 116m ringgit (£21m), Mr Singh said.

And 567 handbags were seized, including designer Hermes bags worth 51.3m ringgit (£9.6m), he added.

Police take away crates from one of Najib Razak’s apartments Police seize £200m including cash, jewellery and handbags linked to ex-Malaysia PM Police seize £200m including cash, jewellery and handbags linked to ex-Malaysia PM skynews najib razak malaysia 4319817
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Police take away crates from one of Mr Razak’s apartments

“The total cost of all the items, the retail price, will be touching 910m to 1.1bn ringgit,” Mr Singh told a press conference.

Mr Razak, who denies any wrongdoing, and his associates are accused of plundering billions of dollars from 1MDB.

His wife Rosmah Mansor became a target for public anger during his leadership due to her vast collection of handbags and jewels, and her reported love of overseas shopping trips.

Last week, Malaysian authorities made their first arrest in their renewed investigation, detaining a former aide to Mr Razak.

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak Police seize £200m including cash, jewellery and handbags linked to ex-Malaysia PM Police seize £200m including cash, jewellery and handbags linked to ex-Malaysia PM skynews najib razak former malaysia 4307476
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Mr Razak denies any wrongdoing

The unnamed 42-year-old, who had worked for Mr Razak since 2009, was arrested on Sunday night after giving a statement to anti-corruption officers.

Transactions involving 1MDB are being investigated in half a dozen countries, including the United States.

The US Department of Justice has alleged in lawsuits that more than $4.5bn from 1MDB was laundered through a complex web of transactions and shell companies, of which $681m ended in Mr Razak’s bank account.

Mr Razak says the money in his account was donations from Saudi Arabia, most of which he returned.

According to the US justice department, assets purchased using 1MDB money include a Picasso painting, luxury real estate in southern California and New York, shares in a Hollywood production company and a $265m yacht, and more than $200m worth of jewellery – including a 22-carat pink diamond pendant and necklace.



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