KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lawyer should provide more information to substantiate allegations that policemen who searched the ex-prime minister’s properties had helped themselves to chocolate and demanded more food, Commissioner Datuk Seri Amar Singh Ishar Singh said tonight.
In a statement, the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director, who is leading a high-profile investigation on Najib over the latter’s suspected criminal involvement into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), said he had given strict instructions to the officers conducting the searches at six premises.
He urged the lawyer who made the allegations about the food incident to provide “more details” and to also identify the police personnel allegedly involved if possible, adding that action will be taken if the claims were proven true.
“I will not tolerate such unprofessional conduct and stern action shall be taken against the personnel concerned in contravention of our police standard operating procedure, if the allegations are found to be true,” Amar said regarding the allegation involving food.
Amar also said he had taken pre-emptive measures to prevent any possible photograph from the raid being spread by banning the officers from carrying their handphones with them during the searches “except for the commander and his deputy, and that too only for the purposes of communication”.
“Photographs and video recordings of the scene were to be taken only by our official photographers,” he added.
He urged the one making the allegations to provide details of the leaked photographs so he can verify if the viralled photographs were from the police or otherwise.
He said there were family members and friends present during the police search of the premises.
Amar said he is the overall commander in charge of the police’s simultaneous searches on May 16 and May 17 at six different premises for 1MDB-linked investigations, and that six very senior police officers were appointed as ground commanders to oversee each search.
“The commanders responsible for each of this premise and men under his command were categorically reminded by me to conduct the searches professionally and accord utmost respect to the occupants, as these premises are occupied by the ex-prime minister of our country and his family,” he said of the pre-raid instructions.
“The Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) always strives for excellence and professionalism in all our investigations. Any insubordination and unprofessional conduct will be dealt with seriously,” he stressed.
Earlier today, Najib’s lawyer Datuk Harpal Singh Grewal had in a statement claimed that police investigators had helped themselves to food and chocolates in the condominium units occupied by Najib’s children and allegedly demanded for more food to be prepared for them.
The law firm representing Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor had issued the first public statement of its client regarding the raids, where she had alleged of a purported “series of leaks” on details of the police investigation on social media in real time.
She claimed that the leaks include details of the alleged confiscated items, adding that she hoped the authorities would be professional and observe due process to avoid a “premature public trial” and to prevent a feeding of “social media trolls”.
Details of the items found and seized during the raids have begun to emerge, including the total number of items seized at the condominiums — 284 designer handbags including Birkin bags and 72 suitcases of cash, watches and jewellery.
A list of the 52 luxury handbags seized from Najib’s private residence has also appeared.
Najib is currently being probed under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act (AMLATFA) 2001.
For an offence under Section 4(1) of the AMLATFA, those convicted can be jailed up to 15 years and fined not less than five times the sum or value of the proceeds of an unlawful activity or instrumentalities at the time the offence was committed or RM5 million, whichever is higher.
Najib had previously denied wrongdoing in relation to 1MDB funds.