- REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin
- Police officers raided five properties linked to Malaysia’s former prime minister, Najib Razak, who was voted out of office last week.
- Handbags and small possessions were seized, but it’s not clear if any documents were taken.
- Najib has been accused of siphoning hundreds of millions from state investment fund 1MDB.
- Six countries, including the US, are investigating $4.5 billion that went missing from the fund.
Police officers raided five properties linked to Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak, including his home, in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The searches also occurred at the prime minister’s former office and two condominium properties linked to Najib’s family, police director Amar Singh told Reuters. At least a dozen police were at Najib’s home for 12 hours, but seized only handbags and some other small possessions, according to Najib’s lawyer,
“The search is supposed to be under the [Anti-]Money Laundering Act… they found nothing incriminating,” lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal told reporters.
“It’s a big house so they had to search each room. That’s why it took so long. There are no arrests now and no indication that there will be an arrest.”
Police also reviewed CCTV footage at a condominium on Saturday, which may be linked to Najib. Senior officers told Reuters they were investigating a complaint that 50 boxes of Birkin bags, which could cost up to $200,000, were delivered to Najib’s wife in vans marked with the prime minister’s seal.
Since last week’s election, which saw the opposition alliance take power for the first time in history, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has made it clear he will investigate missing funds from the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which Najib set up in 2009.
Nearly $700 million was reportedly found in Najib’s personal bank accounts, which a royal Saudi family member said was a personal donation. A number of countries, including the US and Switzerland, are investigating $4.5 billion that was allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB.
“We think that within a short while we will have a case against him,” Mahathir said on Tuesday. “We will be able to charge him.”
Najib has been blacklisted from leaving the country.
92-year-old Mahathir, who previously served as prime minister for 22 years, defeated his former protégé after teaming up with his former enemy and popular opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim in order to defeat the allegedly corrupt Najib.