Return seized RM116.7mil to Umno, Najib urges police

VEENA BABULAL and FAIRUL ASMAINI MOHD PILUS

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has urged the authorities to immediately return the RM116.7 million in cash that were seized from his residences in June.

Najib said according to the law, any seized assets must be returned to its owner if no charges were pressed within three months.

“Even though I have spoken to several local media on this issue, I now choose to explain things in further detail because despite efforts and negotiations, the police refuse to return the money to the party (Umno),” he said in a Facebook post today.

He reiterated that the most of the money seized belonged to Umno, and that the money was placed at a condominium unit in Pavillion as a temporary measure after the party lost the 14th General Election.

“Many people may not know that the Umno president is in charge of handling all party assets, including political donations from businessmen, individuals, non-governmental organisations and corporations.

“The Umno president is also tasked to transfer (funds) and make payments for the party’s needs during elections,” he said, adding that these duties are enshrined in Umno’s constitution.

Najib also said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad openly admitted that he handed over RM1.4 billion in cash and shares to Tun Abdullah Badawi when he took over as premier in 2003.

Police in June raided six premises linked to Najib as part of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) probe and seized cash and assets valued between RM900 million and RM1.1 billion.

Besides 72 large luggage bags containing luxury items, police also seized 35 bags containing RM116.7 million in 27 currencies.

Najib in his statement said he will issue a detailed explanation on the seized jewellery and designer handbags.MORE TO COME © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd