$44m in cash seized from apartments linked to Malaysia’s ex-PM Najib

Several boxes are loaded into a Royal Malaysia Police truck by officers at the Pavilion Residents, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on May 18, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The cash in various currencies seized from apartments linked to former premier Najib Razak at the Pavilion Residences last week has reached nearly RM130 million (S$43.8 million) as investigators finally concluded the counting task.

Sources said officers from the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) completed the painstaking task of counting the seized cash at its headquarters at Menara 238 in Jalan Tun Razak on Wednesday (May 23).

"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. The total amounted to around RM120 million," a source said.

The bags of cash were then transported to Bank Negara for storage after the counting process.

The bags of money were among a haul of 284 boxes filled with designer handbags, watches and jewellery seized from three luxury condominium units, the value of which was impossible to estimate due to the sheer volume.

The sources said the jewellery could be worth in the region of RM200 million. They said police will appoint a professional valuer to determine the exact worth of the jewellery and other valuables.

The raids were part of police investigations into troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

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When contacted, CCID director Amar Singh refused to comment on the amount of cash counted so far, but said a proper press conference would be held to address the progress of the investigation.

Other sources said the process of counting the money was tedious as the cash was in multiple denominations and the serial number of every banknote seized had to be recorded.

Last Friday (May 18), police seized valuables and cash following a check on six locations linked to Datuk Seri Najib, including the Prime Minister's Office, his official residence and other premises.

In a police report, Mr Najib had claimed that the cash seized from the Pavilion Residences was donations from his friends and meant for Barisan Nasional's election campaign.

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