1MDB saga: KL files 2 civil forfeiture suits for items worth $233m

A police truck being loaded with items seized from a luxury condominium linked to former Malaysian PM Najib Razak last year. Najib will challenge the two suits that were filed on Tuesday, his lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said.
A police truck being loaded with items seized from a luxury condominium linked to former Malaysian PM Najib Razak last year. Najib will challenge the two suits that were filed on Tuesday, his lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said.ST FILE PHOTO

PETALING JAYA • Malaysia's government and police have filed two civil forfeiture suits against former prime minister Najib Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansor and several others to seize RM711 million (S$233 million) worth of items that were allegedly bought using funds embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Financial publication The Edge reported that there were two notices of motion and supporting affidavits that were filed in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to seize jewellery, cash, handbags and luxury vehicles from these individuals.

The report, which quoted sources, said the action was a follow-up to the seizure of valuables from properties linked to Najib and his family in the Bukit Bintang district of Kuala Lumpur and several other places by police last year.

It added that the first notice of motion was to seize a property in the Klang Valley, cash that includes foreign currencies, jewellery, handbags, watches and sunglasses worth RM680 million.

The second notice of motion was to seize 27 luxury cars, cash that includes foreign currencies, 29 bank accounts, watches and bags totalling RM31 million.

The report noted that Superintendent Foo Wei Min, from Bukit Aman's anti-money laundering unit, affirmed an affidavit in support of the forfeiture action. Supt Foo was the investigating officer in the case.

The Edge added that it is not known when the application would be heard.

The first notice of motion was to seize a property in the Klang Valley, cash that includes foreign currencies, jewellery, handbags, watches and sunglasses worth RM680 million. The second notice of motion was to seize 27 luxury cars, cash that includes foreign currencies, 29 bank accounts, watches and bags totalling RM31 million.

Shortly after Najib's coalition was defeated in the general election in May last year, police raided several residences and offices linked to Najib and his family.

Then Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Amar Singh had said that the cumulative value of the items seized was estimated at between RM900 million and RM1.1 billion, making it the biggest seizure in the country's history.

Among the items confiscated in the raid were more than 12,000 pieces of jewellery, 423 watches, 234 sunglasses, 567 handbags and cash in 26 different currencies.

Najib will challenge the two suits, his lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told news site Malaysiakini yesterday.

"We are going to resist and challenge (the suits). I don't think they can do that," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2019, with the headline '1MDB saga: KL files 2 civil forfeiture suits for items worth $233m'. Print Edition | Subscribe