Najib still at home as police presence builds

Kenneth Tee
Police are seen in the lobby of luxury apartment building Pavilion Residences on Jalan Raja Chulan in Kuala Lumpur May 17, 2018. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has not left his home in Taman Duta here that was raided earlier by a special police team investigating the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.

Najib returned home after performing terawih prayers at the Kg Baru Mosque at 9.50pm ahead of the first day of Ramadan, just before the police team arrived, and has not been spotted leaving.

It is unclear if his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, is also at home and she was not seen either entering or leaving the property.

Najib’s press secretary Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad and lawyer, Hasnal Rezua Merican, were seen entering the compound of the former PM’s residence just after 11pm.

The former PM’s home is nestled in a corner Jalan Langgak Duta, off Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim, and is surrounded by several other mansions and shrubbery on a hillside in the exclusive residential neighbourhood.

There is only a single access point to Najib’s house as the street is a cul-de-sac.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s press secretary Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad is seen entering the former prime minister’s house in Kuala Lumpur May 16, 2018. — Bernama pic

The team arrived earlier in more than 10 police vehicles, while others conducted simultaneous raids elsewhere, including two units at the exclusive Pavilion Residences condominium linked to Najib’s family.

Federal Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Amar Singh, who met with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad before this, is leading the raid.

Police also deployed more manpower to the scene as media personnel and onlookers began gathering near a makeshift police post by the intersection leading to Najib’s residence, with the crowd swelling into the hundreds as of 1am.

Onlookers at the scene also took out their mobile phones to photograph and record videos of the house from afar after authorities barricaded the street with police tape to keep the crowd at bay.

Dr Mahathir ordered renewed investigations into 1MDB shortly after taking office and said he expects to be able to charge Najib soon.

The Auditor-General also declassified the report of her predecessor’s audit of 1MDB on Tuesday, giving Malaysians a glimpse of the irregularities involving the firm’s previous management.

Najib, Rosmah and several other senior government officials as well as former 1MDB executives have been barred from leaving the country.

People gather along the road leading to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s house in Kuala Lumpur May 17, 2018, as news of a police raid spreads. — Bernama pic