Malaysian police raid former PM Najib's residence

Howard TerryMay 17, 2018

He said police took away some personal possessions including a couple of handbags.

Anwar was sentenced in 2015 to a five-year term for sodomy, a charge he says was trumped up by the government of ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Najib made no arrests in his 1MDB investigation, and blocked both the U.S. and Switzerland from carrying out their own enquiries.

"If Najib is arrested tonight, I want to make sure I am here to see it", one onlooker, Vickenesan Subramaniam, had said earlier in the evening after riding his motorcycle to the scene.

As of 4.45am, police cars remained in the vicinity of Najib's bungalow in the leafy district of Jalan Duta, near Kuala Lumpur, along with a "Black Mariah" - a police wagon used to transport detainees. "I have been briefed by the police and the auditor general and it is very clear that there were more wrongdoings committed than what was known by the public and me".

The 1MDB scandal spawned global probes as investigators tracked a money trail stretching from Switzerland to Singapore and the U.S. The Department of Justice alleges that $3.5 billion from the fund went missing.

The national Bernama news agency cited sources as saying that the police were searching for documents related to 1MDB and that raids occurred simultaneously at the prime minister's office, the prime minister's official residence and an upscale condominium in the city.

Najib was deeply unpopular and facing allegations of corruption and misappropriation of money from a state fund.

Mahathir, 92, has said there is sufficient evidence to investigate the scandal at 1MDB.

"This is important because the amount is big and it can help us clear some debts", he said, adding that the total amount which can be recovered has yet to be determined.

Dr Mahathir also said the Government would work towards recovering funds belonging to 1MDB from overseas, including some RM17.8bil in the United States.

Mahathir has barred Najib from leaving the nation which is for the pending investigations.

Anwar Ibrahim's repeated imprisonments occurred amid a wider crackdown on freedom of expression and peaceful political dissent in Malaysia.

"The main issue is of corruption, particularly 1MDB as well as the money that was embezzled by the previous government", Mahathir told reporters on Wednesday.

His pardon paves the way for him to leap and jump back into national politics as the presumptive successor to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who - in Anwar's absence - led the democratic wave that falls over the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. "Together we will ensure the smooth transition that Malaysians can be proud of".

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