KUALA LUMPUR: Police have been drilling all day into a safe at the private home of former prime minister Najib Razak, his lawyer said today, complaining that the police raid constituted harrassment of Najib on the first day of Ramadan, and a disturbance to the neighbours at the Langgak Duta neighbourhood.
In a statement through his lawyer, Harpal Singh Grewal, at 5pm, the former prime minister said, “this harrassment has now continued for almost 18 hours and nothing meaningful has come from the search and seizure of what would appear to be insignifant personal items”.
The statement said the police team of about 50-60 people, from the commercial crimes unit at federal police headquarters, had behaved professionally from the time they arrrived at about 10pm until after 5am.
They searched every room and opened several boxes of personal items, including handbags and clothing, which had been packed and brought from the prime minister’s official residence in Putrajaya.
The police packed and removed about three boxes of personal items, including clothes and handbags.
Although the police said they would be leaving after taking the last box, several police remained outside the residence.
“At about 8.30am, some of the officers proceeded to the first floor and decided to drill open a safe which had remained locked for two decades as the key had been misplaced. The drilling continues although it is past 5pm now and there is absolutely no peace and quiet at his residence,” the statement said.
He said Najib had agreed to extend his fullest cooperation to the authorities but the harrassment had continued.
The police action against Najib comes in the wake of the Barisan Nasional’s defeat in the general election last week.
The new prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, promised swift action to investigate a long-running controversy about the financial affairs of 1Malaysia Development Berhad, which is at the centre of allegations of corruption and money-laundering involving billions of ringgit.
1MDB, regarded as Najib’s brainchild, has reported cumulative losses amounting to as much as RM42 billion, and the US Justice Department has filed suit to recover luxury goods, real estate and other items with a total value of about US$1 billion said to have been bought from money siphoned off from 1MDB.
Najib has denied any wrongdoing in 1MDB’s affairs, especially about the flow of about RM2.6 billion through one of his personal bank accounts.