Viralled pictures not part of seized items from Najib's residence

Kalbana Perimbanayagam

KUALA LUMPUR: The pictures of some luxury watches, handbags and cash which had been viralled as part of the loot allegedly seized from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's house are actually photographs picked up from the internet randomly. The pictures had been making the rounds on social networking sites, through mobile applications and on the internet have nothing to do with the on-going police raids at Najib’s residence since early this week. The most widely distributed photo was that of stacks of cash, a broken vault and arranged Hermes brand handbags that are captioned as among the items seized from the former premier's house. However, the pictures which had been circulating like wildfire in many Whatsapp groups and through mobile apps can be easily obtained with a click of the button over the internet. For instance, the picture showing stacks of cash allegedly retrieved from Najib's house is actually from 2016. It was a photo from a robbery case taken in June 2016 in the United States and had nothing to do with the on-going police investigation into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal and Najib. A few news portals too, without verifying the origins of the photograph, had used it purportedly as Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor's designer handbags, alongside articles related to the investigation and raids. A website had posted the file photo taken in Singapore of the handbags arranged on the floor and claimed that it was Rosmah's bags estimated to be worth about RM20mil. It is the same with the photographs of a tray of luxury watches and a broken vault. The owner of the handbags photograph taken in Singapore called Shopfirstluxury yesterday made a statement saying: "If anybody receives this broadcast (viral photo), please just don't spread it again using this picture. "In this fast information era, let's be a responsible news reader, and think twice before sharing with your friends and family," Shopfirstluxury wrote on Instagram. The police have been photographed transporting luggage and orange boxes containing the designer handbags seized from the raid, but have not released any verified images of the seized items as of now.


The most widely distributed photo was that of stacks of cash, a broken vault and arranged Hermes brand handbags that are captioned as among the items seized from the former premier's house. (NSTP/LUQMAN HAKIM ZUBIR)

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