18-hour police search on Najib's home 'harassment': Lawyer

Clay Curtis
May 18, 2018

On Tuesday, new Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he expected Najib would be charged following allegations that the former prime minister siphoned off hundreds of millions of United States dollars from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund.

Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, are on an Immigration Department watch list, and banned from leaving the country. Najib has denied wrongdoing.

At a press conference after chairing a meeting of the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council here, Dr Mahathir was asked why the police had raided Najib's house at night.

Simultaneous raids on other residences were completed last night, but the search at Najib's main residence in the Duta area have been held up as efforts to break into the safe found on the first floor have so far been ineffective.

Razak, who served as prime minister from 2009 to 2018, is under investigation by at least six countries for embezzling money-$4.5 billion according to US investigators-from the sovereign state fund 1MDB.

Lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal said police arrived at about 10pm on Wednesday at Najib's house, and were still searching it on Thursday afternoon. "We all feel sad about what happened but as a party that upholds democratic principles, we accept the people's decision", he said, referring to the stunning defeat of the long-ruling alliance in Wednesday's general election.

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Amar Singh said the seized items included Hermes, Birkin and Louis Vuitton handbags. The US Department of Justice, in its probe, found that Ms Rosmah had purchased a pink diamond worth US$23 million with 1MDB funds.

Singh said police carried out simultaneous searches at six premises - the prime minister's office and official residence in the administrative capital of Putrajaya, the family mansion in Kuala Lumpur where Najib lives, and three other private residences.

Singh said police had also seized documents linked to 1MDB.

A prime minister earns a fixed salary of 22,826.65 ringgit ($5,750) a month and can not invest in businesses or stocks while in office.

The police also searched another private residence of Najib, a luxury apartment in Jalan Raja Chulan.

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