Malaysia: Police find $28m cash in raids on ex-PM Najib Razak

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Ex-Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak has been accused of corruption and mismanagement
Ex-Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak has been accused of corruption and mismanagement
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Ex-Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak has been accused of corruption and mismanagement
Ex-Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak has been accused of corruption and mismanagement

Malaysian police say they found $28.6m (£21.3m) in cash stuffed in bags during a search of several apartments linked to ousted leader Najib Razak.

The raids were related to an investigation into state development fund 1MDB, from which billions of dollars were allegedly stolen.

Mr Najib himself was accused of pocketed $700m, but was cleared of wrongdoing by Malaysian authorities.

His political party has said the cash found by police is campaign funds.

Deal of the day

United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) said it included party contributions and money left over after Mr Najib’s shock election loss to his former ally Mahathir Mohammad this month.

In a statement, UUNMO said the funds were in the process of being transferred to the party’s new leadership when they were seized.

It said the party would “seek to recover” the money to help it rebuild after its defeat.

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Fresh investigations into the 1MDB case have begun following Mr Mahathir’s election. Mr Najib has been questioned twice this week by the anti-corruption commission.

‘You eat our money, we eat your chocs’

Police searched three apartments in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, last week..

Amar Singh, the head of the commercial crime division, told reporters on Friday that the money was found inside 35 bags, while another 37 bags contained watches and jewellery.

The value of those would be calculated later, he said.

Last week Mr Najib’s lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal said his client was “very unhappy” with the raids.

The ex-prime minister also complained that officers who combed his properties had helped themselves to food and chocolates – sparking an online campaign which saw social media users offer to deliver chocolates to police stations in Malaysia.

“You eat our money. We eat your chocs,” said one user on Twitter, a reference to allegations that Mr Najib had stolen 1MDB money.

Corruption claims

Mr Najib has long faced accusations of corruption and mismanagement over 1MDB, which he set up in 2009.

The fund was meant to turn Kuala Lumpur into a financial hub and boost the economy through strategic investments.

But it started to attract negative attention in early 2015 after it missed payments for some of the $11bn it owed to banks and bondholders.

The Wall Street Journal then reported it had seen a paper trail that allegedly traced close to $700m from the fund to Mr Najib’s personal bank accounts.

Mr Najib has consistently denied taking money from 1MDB or any public funds. He was cleared by local authorities of all charges.