KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The total value of cash, jewelry, watches, and handbags confiscated from land owned by former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in a money-laundering investigation amounted to at least US $ 273 million. Dollars, the police said on Wednesday, calling the loot the largest in Malaysia's history.
The items included 12,000 pieces of jewelery, 567 handbags, 423 watches and 234 sunglasses, said Amar Singh, head of the economic crime department. The jewelry includes 2,200 rings, 1,400 necklaces, 2,100 bracelets, 2,800 pairs of earrings, 1,600 brooches and 14 tiaras, he said.
"In any case, we are shocked, this is the biggest confiscation in the history of Malaysia," he said at a press conference.
Allegations of corruption by Najib's former 1MDB sovereign wealth fund led to his shocking defeat in the May 9 election and the end of the 1960s, and his coalition's unremitting rule. Najib and his wife were forbidden to leave the country and both were grilled by anti-graft officials. You have denied any wrongdoing.
Police have searched 12 locations, including Najib's home and apartments in a high-end Kuala Lumpur condominium, as part of an investigation into a criminal violation of the 1MDB fund. The most expensive valuables include a 6.4 million ringgit (1.6 million dollar) diamond necklace and a 3.5 million ringgit ( 869,000 dollars) Rolex Daytona watch. Of the 567 handbags, 272 were the exclusive Hermes Birkins bags with a market value of at least 51.3 million ringgit (12.7 million dollars), he said.
The police will soon call Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, as well as people who allegedly gave them some of the items as a gift for questioning.
Rosmah was vilified by many Malaysians as the avaricious First Lady, the Birkin Loves pockets and leads an opulent lifestyle, but in television footage of the huge police, Malaysia gasped for shock. It may be the most sensational picture of elitist corruption in Asia in the three decades since Imelda Marcos, who was notorious for her vast collection of designer shoes and jewelry, was the First Lady of the Philippines.
Najib founded the 1MDB fund He took power in 2009, but has amassed billions in debt. US investigators say that Najib employees stole and washed $ 4.5 billion from the fund from 2009 to 2014, some of which landed on Najib's bank account. They say $ 27.3 million was used to buy a rare diamond necklace for Rosmah.
The new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad reopened investigations into 1MDB, which were suppressed under Najib's rule. Mahathir, who served as Prime Minister for 22 years until 2003, was retired from the 1MDB scandal. He has sworn that there will be no deal for Najib and says he will bear the consequences if he is found guilty of misconduct.
The government said Najib's administration had conducted a "deception exercise" on 1MDB and misrepresented the country's financial situation to parliament. The country's new anti-graft chief soon warned against indictment of Najib.
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