Police searched the home of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and four other locations for evidence of money laundering, his lawyer said early Thursday (local time), after a momentous day that saw longtime political prisoner Anwar Ibrahim walk free after receiving a royal pardon.
Authorities confirmed the search, but did not immediately release any details, as new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad appeared to move quickly on his pledge to probe the alleged looting of billions of dollars from the state fund 1MDB.
“They checked every room. That’s why it took them so long,” Najib’s lawyer, Harpal Singh Gerwal, told reporters, referring to a six-hour search at Najib’s private residence.
“We believe it is under the money-laundering act, but they found nothing incriminating,” Harpal said, adding that Najib and his family were cooperating with police.
No documents were seized, but police took some personal possessions, including handbags and presents, he said.
Amar Singh Ishar Singh, the head of the commercial crime unit at Malaysia’s national police, confirmed a police raid at Najib’s home to Astro Awani, a Malaysian TV network.
Witnesses described seeing more than 10 police cars and a pickup truck parked outside the residence about 10:15 p.m. shortly after Najib returned from prayers at a mosque.
The police search took place hours after Mahathir spoke during a news conference about an ongoing investigation into the scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), in which Najib was allegedly implicated.
“It is clear that there are more wrongdoings than those known by the masses, as well as by me,” Mahathir said earlier.
Full story: BenarNews
N. Nantha and Hadi Azmi
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