KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police seized 52 branded bags, 10 luxury watches and cash in multiple currencies including RM537,000 (US$135,000) in a raid of former prime minister Najib Razak's private residence that began on late Wednesday (May 16), according to a police document sighted and verified by Channel NewsAsia.
Police believe there were "reasonable grounds to suspect that all such items are a matter of offence under the nation's Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001".
The bags seized include some made by Versace, Gucci and Oscar de la Renta with 15 Chanel boxes taken from the prayer area of the house. Watches taken include ones made by Rolex and Patek Philippe while £2,700 and 2,870,0000 Sri Lanka Rupee were also confiscated.
The police search of Najib's home went on for about 18 hours and amounted to "harassment", said his lawyer in a statement on Thursday.
In total, authorities have raided six premises as part of their investigations into Najib and state-investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), including the prime minister's office and the prime minister's official residence in Putrajaya as well as four private residences linked to the former leader.
On Friday morning, police seized another 284 boxes containing designer handbags as well as dozens of bags stuffed with cash and jewellery from luxury condominium units linked to Najib.
Mahathir had said there was sufficient evidence to investigate the multi-billion-dollar scandal at 1MDB, and vowed to take action against those who may have abetted or benefited from corruption at the fund.
At least six countries, including the United States and Switzerland, are investigating claims that US$4.5 billion was allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB.
Najib has denied any wrongdoing.