(Updated)

Decision on govt's bid to forfeit goods from Pavilion raid to be delivered on Nov 14

Najib (third from left) is contesting the forfeiture of seven expensive watches. (Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge)

Najib (third from left) is contesting the forfeiture of seven expensive watches. (Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 26): The High Court has fixed Nov 14 to deliver its decision on the government's bid to forfeit 2,435 pieces of jewellery, seven expensive watches and 29 handbags said to be related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The 2,435 pieces of jewellery worth RM80 million were part of the almost 12,000 pieces seized from the Pavilion condo raid in May 2018.

Meanwhile, the balance of more than 9,500 pieces of jewellery were not forfeited, given doubts on whether they had been purchased with proceeds from 1MDB.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is contesting the forfeiture of the seven expensive Richard Mille watches worth RM4.51 million, while his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is contesting the forfeiture of the jewellery pieces and the handbags, comprising Hermes bags except for one.

Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin fixed the date after hearing submissions from the prosecution led by Harris Ong Mohd Jeffrey Ong.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Tania Scivetti and Nur Syazwani Mohd Zawawi appeared for Najib, while Iskandar Shah Ibrahim and Azamuddin Abdul Aziz represented Rosmah.

Earlier, the court was informed that the prosecution was dropping its claim on a US$220,000 (RM1.01 million) bracelet that was seized, as the bracelet had been returned to Lebanese jeweller Global Royalty Trading SAL, which was represented by Datuk David Gurupatham.

The bracelet was initially claimed by Global Royalty, Najib and Rosmah, but in the end the couple and the prosecution dropped their claim.

Valuables said to come from proceeds of unlawful activity

Harris Ong submitted that the items the government wanted to seize were proceeds from unlawful activity said to be from 1MDB.

The seizure, he added, was made under Section 53 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, for which the items were said to be proceeds of unlawful activity from 1MDB's transactions with PetroSaudi International Ltd — the energy acquisition with regard to Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn Bhd, along with Mastika Lagenda Sdn Bhd and Aabar Investments PJS (Aabar Abu Dhabi).

According to assistant commissioner R Rajagopal, the investigating officer for the offence, there were three stages of money going into Najib's account — the Good Star stage involving US$120 million, the Aabar stage (US$170 million) and the Tanore stage (US$681 million).

All the three stages happened between Feb 24, 2011 and March 25, 2013.

"In total, Najib received a gargantuan amount of RM2.973 billion [in] his 9694 AmBank account which originated from 1MDB without any commercial or business justification," Rajagopal said in his affidavit.

The Edge is covering the trial live here.

Users of The Edge Markets app may tap here to access the live report.

Read also:
Najib's private AmBank account received more than RM90m in 1MDB funds

Over US$180m of 1MDB funds used to buy jewellery, Hermès bags, affidavit shows 
Najib’s lawyer says three of seven Richard Mille watches seized in Pavilion raid are gifts

Lam Jian Wyn