Then, police announced Friday that raids on properties linked to Najib had turned up 72 suitcases stuffed with jewels and cash. It took five trucks to haul away some of the belongings, because police also had to fit 284 boxes filled with designer handbags - including Birkin bags from Hermes, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Photos show police carrying out orange boxes, with labels reading "Paris, H Bag Gray Croco Skin Hermes" and "Switzerland, Bag Blue w/Diamonte Croc Skin, Hermes."
Even before the raids, Najib's wife, Rosmah Mansor, had a reputation for taking luxurious shopping trips abroad. The raids come as Malaysia's new government ramps up its investigation of corruption allegations against them.
U.S. investigators say that at least $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a government investment fund that Najib oversaw. Some of that missing money allegedly wound up in his personal account.
On Thursday, Najib's attorney, Harpal Singh Grewal, said that despite the seizure of some of the belongings, police did not find any incriminating documents. At one point, Grewal said, police drilled into a safe that he says no one had opened for 20 years because they had lost the key.
"The search conducted in the premises and the items seized thus far would seem of insignificant value, and the continued presence of police officers and the drilling of the old safe strongly suggest unwarranted harassment," he said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Election Results for Lok Sabha Election 2019 will be out on May 23. Get the latest election news and live updates on ndtv.com/elections. Catch all the action on NDTV Live. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for news updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the election 2019