KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police said on Friday that cash in various currencies seized from apartments linked to former Prime Minister Najib Razak reached 114 million ringgit ($28.6 million), as the probe over the state fund 1MDB continued to expand.
The cash, stashed in 35 bags of the 72 bags seized from the search, are in 26 different currencies and took dozens of people to count, including police officers and 23 officers from the central bank, said Amar Singh, director of the police Commercial Crime Investigation Department, at a press conference.
He said the police are still trying to seek experts" help to verify and authenticate the remaining seized items, including 37 bags and 284 boxes of jewelry and luxury watches. He declined to reveal the estimated value of the seized items.
The police raided several premises related to Najib last week over the 1MDB probe. Most of the cash and luxury goods were seized from the three condominiums, two of which Amar Singh confirmed belong to Najib"s daughter and son. The third condominium is empty when the police carried out the raid, but he refused to reveal the owner"s name.
Amar Singh said the police will take pictures of the seized handbags, purportedly including luxury brands such as Gucci and Hermes Birkin bags and send them to Hermes for verification.
Najib, who lost power in an election on May 9, is being probed for his role in 1MDB, which he chaired the advisory board during his premiership. He has received two rounds of questioning at the country"s anti-corruption agency.
Najib has denied any wrongdoing. He also accused the police of carrying out the search in an indiscriminate manner. In a statement issued through his lawyer earlier, Najib said the police even took clothing and shoes that belong to his daughter personally, which he said had no connection to 1MDB.
Najib also blamed the police for chocolate missing in his refrigerator during the raid. At the press conference, Amar Singh reiterated his men"s professionalism, saying he had reminded the police officers carrying out the search to conduct the search "as professionally as we can because we are searching the premise of our ex-prime minister."