Najib is being investigated by the new government over a corruption scandal at the state-owned investment fund [Sadiq Asyraf/The Associated Press]
Malaysian police teams have raided two residences of former Prime Minister Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur late on Wednesday, with searches still continuing into Thursday.
Malaysia Kini news website reported on Thursday that after more than 12 hours since police team arrived at Najib’s main residence, several vehicles and trucks remained parked outside the house.
Calls for Malaysia PM’s resignation over 1MDB scandal
Several other unmarked police vehicles, however, left the residence on Thursday morning local time.
According to the report, investigators from the police headquarter’s federal commercial crimes unit were involved in the operation.
Malaysian newspaper, New Straits Times, quoted Najib’s lawyer, Datuk Harpal Singh Grewal, as saying that police seized handbags, clothes as well as gifts as evidence, but no documents.
Harpal was also quoted as saying that Najib and his family cooperated in the search.
Najib had just returned to his residence from evening prayers on Wednesday when the raid was carried out, the New Straits Times reported.
It was also reported that police raided Najib’s Pavilion Residences apartment, carting out boxes of “what appears to be documents”, as well as several other items.
One police officer was photographed as carrying a box of a Samsung flat screen television.
Najib, who is prevented by the new government from leaving the country, is being investigated by the new government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad over a corruption scandal at the state-owned investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), from which officials are alleged to have stolen more than $4.5bn.
Some of that money is alleged to have ended up in Najib’s personal bank account.
The former Prime Minister has denied any wrongdoing and said the money was a donation from the Saudi royal family, which he had since returned.
During the campaign, Mahathir had repeatedly referred to his former protege, Najib, as a “thief”.
The 92-year old prime minister returned to power on Thursday following a victory of his alliance, Pakatan Harapan, on Wednesday, forcing Najib out after 11 years in power.
Mahathir has also ordered the dismissal of the country’s head of prosecution, as the new government reopens the 1MDB probe.