Cops deny blogger’s claim of RM43 million lifted from 1MDB haul

KUALA LUMPUR: The police today dismissed a blogger’s claim that they stole RM43.3 million from the money confiscated during a raid of a residence linked to former prime minister Najib Razak in May.

Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) chief Amar Singh said the claim by Raja Petra Kamarudin was frivolous and baseless, adding that he was “more of a mercenary” than an investigative journalist.

“The basis of his claim is that on May 25, I said RM114 million was seized and later on June 28 said RM116 million was seized. He is using this discrepancy to claim that we are not sure of the figures,” Amar said in a press conference at the CCID headquarters here.

The raid in May was carried out in connection with the police investigation into 1MDB.

Police said a total of RM114 million in cash, as well as bags containing jewellery, luxury handbags and watches were seized.

Umno subsequently filed a suit for the return of the money, claiming it belonged to the party. However, Raja Petra alleged that based on a writ filed by Umno, the party had claimed that RM160 million was confiscated by the police, not RM116.7 million as declared by Amar at a press conference on the total seizures.

Amar said today that RM114 million was only the amount found in the condominium at Pavilion.

“We also conducted raids at five other premises. After we counted the cash from all the raids, I said in my press conference on June 28 that the total amount recovered was RM116 million.”

He said only after the amount was announced had an individual claimed that the money belonged to Umno and that the actual amount was RM160 million.

Clarifying later that he had been referring to Najib, he said the former prime minister only made claims but could not substantiate them or explain how the figure was arrived at.

“You must have some documents to show that this amount of money was taken out,” he said.

Amar said he wished to confirm that the amount found at the Pavilion premise was RM114 million.

As an investigative reporter, he added, Raja Petra should ask how the money could have been stolen.

“The RM114 million was found in 35 bags. For RM43 million, you would need around 10 to 15 bags. How could we do this when there were over 100 CCTV cameras, police officers with video recordings, witnesses, over 50 journalists and only one entrance in and out?”

Amar added however that the UK-based blogger would not be arrested as it was his right to lodge a report.

“If he has information, please lodge a report in Malaysia. Don’t hide behind a cyber curtain. Be brave enough to lodge a report here,” he said, adding that action would be taken against Raja Petra if the report was proven false.