Ex-Malaysia PM 'had treasure worth $273 mn'
The searches, part of investigations into scandal-hit sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, netted 12,000 pieces of jewellery, bags containing almost $30 million in cash across 26 different currencies, more than 400 watches worth $19.3 million
A vast trove of items seized in raids on properties linked to Malaysia's scandal-mired former leader, including cash, jewellery and luxury handbags, are worth up to $273 million, police said yesterday.
The searches, part of investigations into scandal-hit sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, netted 12,000 pieces of jewellery, bags containing almost $30 million in cash across 26 different currencies, more than 400 watches worth $19.3 million, and other high-end designer goods. "I think this is the biggest seizure in Malaysian history," said Amar Singh, the police's head of commercial crime investigations, after officials completed the mammoth task of counting up all the items they uncovered in raids around Kuala Lumpur last month.
Malaysian Police's CCID Director, Amar Singh, shows pictures of seized items in Kuala Lumpur. Pics/AFP
He said the items were worth between $225 million and $273 million. The official salary of Najib Razak, the former premier, while in office was $5,670 a month. Allegations of massive corruption were a major factor behind last month's shock election loss of Najib's long-ruling coalition to a reformist alliance headed by Mahathir Mohamad.
Najib and his cronies were accused of plundering billions of dollars from 1MDB to buy everything from US real estate to artworks. Najib and the fund deny any wrongdoing.
His luxury-loving wife Rosmah Mansor became a lightning rod for public anger due to her vast collection of handbags and jewels, and her reported love of overseas shopping trips. The mind-boggling collection of luxury items listed by police will increase public anger at the former first couple.
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