Forfeiture case: Physical inspection on 11,991 jewellery items postponed


KUALA LUMPUR – Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, as well as the owner of a jewellery company Global Royalty Trading SAL, from Lebanon, Samer Halimeh, have yet to inspect the 11,991 jewellery items currently stored in more than 90 boxes at Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

The jewellery items were  among valuables seized by the police from a premises belonging to Obyu Holdings Sdn Bhd at Pavilion Residences in May 2018.

Deputy public prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin said the court had previously set July 12 to 15 for third parties to inspect the jewellery, but it could not be done as it was during to Phase One of Movement Control under the National Recovery Plan (PPN).

“Inspection of the jewellery has also been set for Aug 2 to 5, but it cannot be carried out (also) because of Phase One of Movement Control under PPN, and arrangements have yet to be made for Samer, who is in the United Kingdom, to enter Malaysia.

“The prosecution also suggests for the physical inspection to be carried out only when the National Security Council (NSC) gives permission for indoor group activities, after taking into account current developments such as the risk of the spread of COVID-19,” she told reporters via WhatsApp after the e-review (online) case management before High Court Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin today.

She said the reason being the risk of the spread of the epidemic was high as the BNM vaults where the jewellery were kept were in a closed area, and would involve many people.

It would not only involve the presence of third parties, but also the police, she said, adding that the court also set  Sept 9 for case management.

Najib, Rosmah and Global Royalty are the third parties who are staking claim to the jewellery in the forfeiture application against Obyu Holdings, which is owned by Tan Sri Bustari Yusof.

On July 25 last year, Najib and Rosmah had inspected a total of 306 handbags, 401 watches, 16 watch accessories and 234 spectacles which were also seized from the same premises.

In 2019, the prosecution filed a forfeiture application against Obyu Holdings to seize various items including 11,991 units of jewellery, 401 watch straps and 16 watch accessories, 234 pairs of spectacles and 306 handbags as well as cash in various denominations amounting to RM114,164,393.44.

The money and jewellery were confiscated by the authorities for allegedly linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund scandal.