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‘Biggest seizure in our history’


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 28 Jun 2018

Reports by FARIK ZOLKEPLI, MARTIN CARVALHO, BERVIN CHEONG, AUSTIN CAMOENS, LOSHANA K. SHAGAR, VICTORIA BROWN and HANIS ZAINAL

KUALA LUMPUR: Up to RM1.1bil worth of cash, jewellery, luxury handbags and watches, as well as sunglasses have been seized from residences and offices linked to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the ongoing investigation into 1Malay­sia Development Berhad (1MDB), making it the biggest seizure in Malaysian history.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Amar Singh said the collective value of the items seized was estimated at between RM900mil and RM1.1bil.

“Of course we are shocked. I think this is the biggest seizure in the country’s history,” he told reporters at the CCID headquarters yesterday.

“The items were seized from properties connected with the former prime minister – two premises in Putrajaya and four in Kuala Lumpur – following raids conducted on May 16 and 17.

“They include Seri Perdana, an office (in Putrajaya), three units at Pavillion Residences and his (Najib) personal home in Langgak Duta,” Comm Amar said.

Visual proof: Journalists taking photos of images of items seized in the 1MDB probe during a press conference at the CCID headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. (Inset) Comm Amar briefing the press on the items seized. — The Star / Reuters
Visual proof: Journalists taking photos of images of items seized in the 1MDB probe during a press conference at the CCID headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

He added that more than 12,000 pieces of jewellery, including 2,200 rings, 1,400 necklaces, 2,100 bracelets, 2,800 pairs of earrings, 1,600 brooches and 14 tiaras, were among the items seized.

“The most expensive item is a yellow and brown diamond necklace, which has a value of at least RM6.4mil.

“The overall value of the items, without taking into account workmanship costs, is estimated to be about RM440mil,” said Comm Amar.

He added that the market value of the items would be about 50% to 100% more, or an estimated RM660mil to RM880mil.

He also said the items included 423 watches worth RM78mil, including the most expensive one, a Rolex Paul Newman Daytona worth about RM3.5mil.

There were also 234 sunglasses worth RM374,000, including luxury brands Versace and Cartier, Comm Amar said.

Police also seized 567 handbags made up of 37 luxury brands with an estimated value of RM51.3mil.

Amar Singh, head of Malaysias Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID), displays a photo of items from a raid during a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin
Comm Amar briefing the press on the items seized. — The Star / Reuters

“We recovered 567 handbags, but we only managed to ascertain the value of 272 Hermes bags at RM51.3mil,” he said.

“There are also other brands, including Prada, Chanel, Judith Leiber, Versace and Bijan (a brand that can only be made to order).

“We need some time to determine the value of the remaining handbags as we need experts from various fields to come in and value them,” he said.

A total of RM116mil in cash in 26 different denominations were also seized, Comm Amar added.

He said the police were in the process of determining whether some of the items were presented to Najib as gifts.

“All the seized cash and items have been stored safely at Bank Negara,” he added.

Asked whether Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was a person of interest in the 1MDB investigation, Comm Amar said police were looking into it.

On whether the couple would be called in for questioning, he said the police were expecting to call them up soon, along with their alleged “gift givers”.

“We need to call up other people involved first,” he said.

“So far, we have recorded more than 30 statements pertaining to the investigation.”

On the possibility of arrests being made in the case, Comm Amar said there would be none from his side at the moment.

On talk that the former premier would be arrested on Tuesday night, Comm Amar said: “I am not aware of that.”

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