Asia

Malaysia 1MDB: Seized tiaras, cash and Hermes bags 'worth $273m'

Commissioner Amar Singh, Malaysia"s Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director, displays a photo of items from a raid during a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia June 27, 2018. Image copyright EPA
Image caption 12,000 pieces of jewellery were seized from properties in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysian police have seized a trove of jewellery, handbags and cash worth up to $273m (£206m) from properties linked to former prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor.

A $1.6m gold and diamond necklace, 14 tiaras and 272 Hermes bags were taken as part of corruption investigations into state investment fund 1MDB.

Billions of dollars are unaccounted for from the fund, set up by Mr Najib.

He has been under investigation since his shock election loss in May.

Police describe the seizure of valuables as the biggest in Malaysian history.

Jewellery accounted for the biggest portion, with 12,000 items gathered - the most expensive being the $1.6m necklace.

A total of 567 handbags containing almost $30m in cash were also seized, along with 423 watches and 234 pairs of sunglasses, police say.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Singh said he believed the seizures were the biggest in Malaysian history

"We couldn't do the counting at the premises because the numbers were too huge," Amar Singh, head of the police commercial crime division, told a news conference.

He added that it had taken officials five weeks to count the items and calculate their value.

Over the years Ms Rosmah has come to be known for her indulgent shopping habits and love of branded goods.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ms Rosmah's love of luxury goods is no secret

She has been compared to former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos, who was also known for her love of shoes and other luxury goods.

Corruption claims were a major cause of Mr Najib's election loss to his former ally Mahathir Mohammad.

Mr Najib was alleged to have pocketed $700m from the fund, a charge he has denied.

Since he lost the election, Mr Najib and his wife have been questioned by anti-graft investigators and he has been banned from leaving the country.

Related Topics

More on this story