Viral photos of 'seized' Birkins, Rolex watches aren't from Najib's home, but stock photos

A screengrab taken by Singapore-based Shopfirstluxury, showing a photo used by Sarawak Report that was erroneously stated to show Birkin bags belonging to Madam Rosmah Mansor.
A screengrab taken by Singapore-based Shopfirstluxury, showing a photo used by Sarawak Report that was erroneously stated to show Birkin bags belonging to Madam Rosmah Mansor.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/SHOPFIRSTLUXURY
Police officers carting away orange boxes containing items seized from apartments owned by former Malaysian PM Najib Razak, in Kuala Lumpur on May 17, 2018.
Police officers carting away orange boxes containing items seized from apartments owned by former Malaysian PM Najib Razak, in Kuala Lumpur on May 17, 2018.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Several viral photos of luxury watches, handbags and stacks of cash supposedly seized from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's residence are fake.

A quick Google Image search reveals that several of these viral images are stock photos.

 

One image showing a tray of six gold Rolex watches is widely shared on social media site Pinterest while another image of luggage filled with stacks of US currency is from a June 2016 robbery case that happened in the US.

The most widely distributed photo is of 27 multi-coloured Hermes Birkin handbags laid out neatly on what looks like a living room floor.

This photo was previously shared on Sarawak Report's Facebook page saying it was an unverified photo purportedly of designer bags belonging to Mr Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, estimated at RM20 million (S$6.76 million).

On Saturday (May 19), Singapore-based luxury goods store Shopfirstluxury debunked the photo clarifying that it was taken in their showroom.

"If anybody receive this broadcast (viral photo), please just don't spread it again using this picture," Shopfirstluxury wrote on its Instagram.

"In this fast information era, let's be a responsible news reader, and think twice before sharing to your friends and family," it added.

 

The photo of the collection of expensive handbags went viral several days after polling day at the same time when several Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia members lodged a police report claiming they had information about an alleged attempt to transport and hide up to 50 Birkin handbags allegedly belonging to Madam Rosmah in a luxury residence in Kuala Lumpur.

Police had been searching six premises linked to Mr Najib in their investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal since May 16.

On May 18, police seized 284 boxes filled with designer handbags, watches, jewellery and cash in various currencies from three condominiums at Pavilion Residences in Kuala Lumpur.

The police have been photographed transporting luggage and orange boxes containing the designer handbags seized from the raid, but have not released any verified images of the seized items.