Three months on, Najib says seized foreign currencies leftover from past trips

Debra Chong
Police personnel lift suitcases filled with cash and jewellery onto a waiting Black Maria outside the Pavilion Residences, May 17, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak has finally come out with an explanation for the RM116.7 million in multiple currencies seized by investigators from properties linked to the former prime minister in June this year.

In a statement on his Facebook page today, the Pekan MP asserted again that most of the money belonged to Umno and some to himself and his two grown-up children, which were seized during the police raid on their homes nearby his main residence in Jalan Duta over three months ago.

“Why then the currencies from 27 countries?

“Whoever frequently visits and is on duty abroad will certainly have a balance of unused foreign currencies at home. My family and I are no different,” he said.

Najib played down the amount of foreign currencies impounded by the authorities saying a large part of the seizure was in ringgit, except for a certain amount given by an anonymous donor that was in Singapore dollars.

“Therefore a large part of the cash seized was in ringgit (including a certain amount in Singapore dollars because a certain donor chose to donate in this form). Those in foreign currencies were only a small amount,” he said.

He then demanded the authorities return the money, asserting that the law provides that all assets seized must be returned if no further action is taken after a period of three months.

“It has been over three months since and according to the law, if there are no charges about the seized assets, they must be returned,” he said.

Najib has repeatedly asserted that the money seized by the police do not belong to him but were political contributions to Umno from donors, which he was holding only because he was the party president then.

Today, he insisted that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is aware of the cash being kept in the Prime Minister’s Office on behalf of the party for the elections because the latter used to do the same when he helmed Umno and the Barisan Nasional coalition previously.

He said the money was in cash because that that was the form in came in from political donors for the elections, and which was then distributed in the same form to the 222 parliamentary and 505 state seats in the general elections.

“Tun Mahathir knows about the existence of the cash in the Prime Minister’s Office during elections because he did the same when he was Umno president and prime minister.

“PDRM also knows about this money at Pavilion because its transfer from the Prime Minister’s Office by officers is not a secret,” Najib said.

He then said that the money stashed in the Pavilion apartment was only as a temporary measure after the BN suffered its surprise defeat in the 14th general election.

“I was also made to understand recently that when this money was being transferred, several officers tasked do transfer them had taken RM3.5 million for themselves and they have been arrested by the MACC,” he added.

Najib ended his statement by saying he will elaborate on the seized jewellery and handbags next time.

Related Articles Sita lebih tiga bulan, Najib tuntut aset Umno dipulangkan Shafee claims harassment, fears victimisation to discourage his defence of Najib After account frozen, Shafee says explained RM9.5m issue to MACC again