Cash seized from Najib-linked apartment: $43 million counted

Cash seized from Najib-linked apartment: $43 million counted
PHOTO: The Straits Times file

PETALING JAYA - The cash in various currencies seized from the Pavilion Residences last week has reached nearly RM130mil (S$43.8 million) as investigators finally concluded the counting task.

Sources said officers from the Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) completed the painstaking task of counting the seized cash at its headquarters at Menara 238 along Jalan Tun Razak yesterday.

"The process of counting the cash started on Monday as investigators pulled long hours just to ensure the process was done thoroughly.

"Some 35 bags of cash were counted by police personnel with the assistance of Bank Negara officers," a source said.

The bags of money were among 284 boxes filled with designer handbags, watches and jewellery seized from three luxury condominiums here, the value of which is impossible to estimate due to its sheer volume.

Photo: The Star/Asia News Network

The sources said the jewllery could worth in the region of RM200mil. However, police will appoint a professional valuer to determine the exact value of the jewellery and other valuables.

The raids were part of police investigations into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

When contacted, Bukit Aman CCID director Comm Datuk Seri Amar Singh refused to comment on the amount of cash counted so far.

"I cannot comment on the amount of cash that have been counted.

"I will hold a proper press conference to address the progress of the investigation," he said.

It is learnt that the police were also assisted by other agencies, including Bank Negara.

Other sources have also been reported as saying that the process of counting the money was very tedious as it involved multiple denominations and every banknote seized had to be recorded.

Last Friday, police seized all the items and cash following a check on six locations linked to Najib, including the Prime Minister's Office, his official residence as well as other premises.

Malaysian police search places linked to ousted PM Najib

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    The cash and items seized from the six residences linked to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak amounted to between RM900 million (S$304 million) and RM1.1 billion, say the police.

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    He said that more than 12,000 pieces of jewellery - comprising 2,200 rings, 1,400 necklaces, 2,100 bracelets, 2,800 pairs of earrings,1,600 brooches and 14 tiaras were seized.

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    He added that this was the biggest seizure in Malaysian history.

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    Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor arrived at the headquarters of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to have her statement recorded in connection with a suspicious transfer of about $10.6 million (S$14.2 million) from the former 1MDB unit SRC International.

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    The sum is just a fraction of the billions of dollars allegedly siphoned from 1MDB, the state fund that Najib set up, in a scandal that dogged the last three years of his near-decade-long rule and was a key reason why he was voted out in a May 9 election.

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    M. Puravalen, a lawyer acting for Najib and Rosmah in connection with the SRC investigations, told Reuters on Tuesday he had "ceased acting" for Najib and Rosmah.

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    He said a second lawyer, Yusof Zainal Abideen, had also quit.

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    Puravalen, Abideen and other members of their legal team were reported to have walked out because they failed to reach common ground with Najib on several issues.

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    Najib has already made a series of statements to anti-graft investigators

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    but attention has shifted to his wife after police discovered hundreds of luxury handbags and a stash of jewelry and cash during raids on apartments linked to Najib and his family.

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    Malaysian police have seized 284 boxes filled with designer handbags, watches, jewellery and cash in various currencies from three luxury condominiums.

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    Comm Amar said the designer handbags were of various brands including Louis Vuitton and Birkin bags from Hermes.

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    He added that it was impossible for police to estimate the value of the items seized because there were just too many items and cash seized.

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    He also said that the apartment was not owned by Najib but a "Tan Sri".

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    Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Amar Singh, who led the raids at Pavilion Residences here said this was part of its investigations into 1MDB.

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    This follows a police check of six locations linked to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak here and in Putrajaya, including the Prime Minister's Office, his official residence as well as four other residences.

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    When asked whether Najib would be arrested, he said: "There is no indication that they (the police) will do it."

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    He said Najib and his family were cooperative with police. "They (the police) also acted professionally," he said.

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