Ex-Malaysian PM’s family monitored by cops

Police will check CCTV footage from a deluxe Kuala Lumpur apartment block at which relatives of ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak may have been staying, but the city’s police chief said an earlier Reuters report had mischaracterised the operation as a “raid”.
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Kuala Lumpur’s top cop, Mazlan Lazim, told Reuters police were acting on a complaint on Saturday and were there only to recover the video footage for forensic analysis. “You cannot call it a raid,” he said.

The police operation came as Malaysia’s new Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, said he had stopped his predecessor from leaving the country because of suspected wrongdoing in connection with a multi-billion-dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB.

Senior police officers had earlier told Reuters they were acting after a complaint that a government vehicle had delivered dozens of boxes – made to carry designer handbags – to the apartment for Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor.

Public disgust over alleged corruption was widely seen as one of the reasons behind the unexpected defeat of Najib’s long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition in Wednesday’s general election.

Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

A spokesman for Najib could not be reached for comment. Reuters was unable to reach Najib himself, his wife, or other family members and close associates on Saturday night.

Reuters saw about 20 police officers enter the marble-floored lobby of the Pavilion Residences apartment block in the Malaysian capital, just as Mahathir was holding a news conference to announce key members of his cabinet.

They were aided by at least a dozen other plainclothes law-enforcement officers. Security personnel from the building – which is owned by Desmond Lim, a wealthy Malaysian businessman and supporter of Najib – were co-operative.

“We are looking for government documents that may have been illegally taken,” said a senior police officer, who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

“The government are worried they could be sensitive and important, and could be taken out of the country.”

He declined to say whether any documents had been found and described the operation as “ongoing”.

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