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Cash-filled designer handbags seized in raids on Malaysia's Najib

AFP  |  Kuala Lumpur 

seized a huge haul of handbags, many of them stuffed with cash and jewellery, in searches of homes and offices linked to scandal-tainted ex-Najib Razak, said today.

Amar Singh, of the commercial crime investigation unit, told media early today at one of the raid sites that the value of what was seized was impossible to immediately estimate due to its sheer volume.

"Our personnel checked these bags and discovered various currencies including Malaysian ringgit, US dollars, watches and jewellery in 72 bags," he said.

The bulk of the police haul appeared to have been found in luxury condominiums at an upscale complex in central

The revelations quicken Najib's already precipitous fall since his longtime ruling coalition was unexpectedly trounced at national elections last week by a diverse alliance that had made his alleged corruption a central campaign theme.

Police launched extensive searches of Najib's home and a number of other sites starting late Wednesday as the new government headed by 92-year-old presses forward with its pledge to bring Najib to justice.

Mahathir had already barred Najib, 64, from leaving the country in the wake of the election amid allegations that he oversaw the looting of billions from a sovereign wealth fund he had established.

said the seized items included Hermes, Birkin and handbags.

Najib's wife has long been reviled by Malaysians for her reported vast collection of handbags, clothing and jewellery, acquired on jet-set overseas shopping trips.

Her reputation contributed to accusations that the ousted ruling establishment had lost touch with economically struggling and middle class Malaysians.

There has been no indication yet that any arrests were forthcoming. But Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim, the former opposition leader who was jailed under Najib but freed on Wednesday, have indicated they expected charges against Najib soon.

Last week's poll ended the six-decade reign of the authoritarian coalition. Mahathir had led the coalition from 1981-2003 but quit in recent years in protest at Najib's alleged corruption.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 18 2018. 07:45 IST