KUALA LUMPUR: Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Amar Singh says RM116.7 million in cash was found in the 35 bags taken from premises linked to former prime minister Najib Razak last month.
Amar, who has been leading the police investigation into 1MDB, said this during a press conference at Menara KPJ here, to announce the amount of money and the value of watches and jewellery seized in the police raids.
Amar said the money, which was in 26 currencies, took three days to count. He said 22 officers from Bank Negara Malaysia had counted the money using six cash machines.
Another 25 bags contained 12,000 items of jewellery, including rings and diamond earrings estimated to cost RM440 million in materials alone.
Amar said these included 1,400 chains, 2,200 rings, 2,800 pairs of earrings and 14 tiaras. The most valuable piece of jewellery was a white diamond necklace estimated to cost RM6.4 million.
“This is the cost value,” he said. “If we include the cost of workmanship and design, it could be 100% more.”
Amar said it had taken 16 days to count the jewellery, adding that the expert involved could only estimate the value of the materials such as gold and jewels.
“He will exclude the cost of workmanship,” he said.
There were also 567 handbags, and the police have checked 273 bags so far estimated to cost a total of RM51.3 million from 37 brands including luxury names such as Hermes, Chanel and Bijan.
A total of 423 watches worth RM78 million were also seized, from brands like Rolex, Chopard and Richard Mille.
Amar said 234 pairs of sunglasses worth RM374,000 including from brands such as Versace, Dior and Gucci were also seized.
The total value of the items seized in the raids was estimated at RM900 million to RM1.1 billion.
Amar said the seized items which are now being held at Bank Negara were sealed and brought to a safe house for valuation.
“It took a long time (to count) because the figure was huge, and to ensure the integrity of the evidence is maintained.
“This is the biggest seizure in Malaysian history,” he said, adding that the case was classified under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
“We won’t know if the money is from Umno. We will have to probe. No one has claimed it as their money.”
He added that he did not know if Najib would be arrested any time soon.
The police conducted raids at several premises linked to the former prime minister after Pakatan Harapan took over Putrajaya in the May 9 polls, including an upmarket condominium at Pavilion and Najib’s private residence at Langgak Duta. They also raided his office and his official residence in Putrajaya.
The searches turned up 72 bags of cash and valuables, and nearly 300 boxes containing luxury handbags.
Police said then that a total of RM114 million was found in 35 of the bags, while the remaining 37 bags contained jewellery and other valuable items.
Earlier this month, Amar disputed a report that they had finished counting the watches seized in the 1MDB probe, saying they were still in the midst of identifying, authenticating and evaluating the valuables.
He also said the report by China Press that police had completed counting 433 watches, said to be worth RM80 million, was “premature”.