KUALA LUMPUR (May 31): The High Court here yesterday allowed the prosecution to publish a notice in the Gazette calling upon any third party with interest on the hundreds of bags of various brands and other property, including cash in various currencies, watches and 27 cars that were seized from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, their three children and 13 other individuals and companies.
Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan made the decision after allowing the prosecution’s application, made under Section 56 and 61(2) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
“The court gives three months for the prosecution, as the applicant, to implement the process (of publishing the notice in the Gazette).
“As such, the court sets this Aug 30 for case management,” he said during today’s case management.
Upon publication of the notice in the Gazette, any third party who claims to have any interest in the property will be required to attend before the court, or through their lawyer, on a specified date to show cause as to why the property shall not be forfeited.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Fatnin Yusof informed the court that the 16th to 18th respondents, namely Kee Kok Thiam, Tan Vern Tact and Geh Choh Hun, had fled, hence making it impossible for the prosecution to hand over the cause papers to them.
“Therefore, the prosecution applied to publish the notice in the Gazette under Section 56 and 61(2) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001,” he added.
Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi, when met by reporters, said the prosecution needed time to publish the notice in the Gazette.
Last May 7, the Attorney-General’s Chambers filed a notice of forfeiture over hundreds of items including branded handbags and 27 vehicles seized from Najib, Rosmah Mansor, their three children and 13 individuals and companies.
The notice was filed at the Criminal High Court Registrar’s Office, here, and named the prosecution as the applicant with 18 individuals and companies as the respondents.
The respondents named are Najib, followed by Rosmah, Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, Nor Ashman Razak Mohd Najib, Nooryana Najwa Mohd Najib, Mohd Kyizzad Mesran, Senijauhar Sdn Bhd, Aiman Ruslan, Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia, Yayasan Semesta, Yayasan Mustika Kasih, Rembulan Kembara Sdn Bhd, Goh Gaik Ewe, Ng Chong Hwa, Lim Hwee Bin, Kee Kok Thiam, Tan Vern Tact and Geh Choh Hun as second to 18th respondents.
The application was filed on the grounds that the prosecution, acting under Section 56 (1) read together with Section 376 of the Criminal Procedure Code, was satisfied that the items seized between May 17, 2018 and March 11, 2019, were related to an offence under Section 4 (1) or as the result of illegal activities involving the respondents.
Among the valuables were 52 branded handbags, 10 watches and cash in different denominations – RM537,000, Pound Sterling 2,700, Rupee Sri Lanka 2,870,000, old notes Ringgit Malaysia RM187,750, Pound Sterling 320,500, Rupiah 13,177,00 US$100, Hryvnies (Ukraine) 376, Euro 20, France 50, South African 10 Rand, Singapore Dollar 40, Riyal 531, Philippines Peso 740 and new notes Ringgit Malaysia 21,150 which were seized on May 17, 2018 and on June 11, 2018,
Also seized on the same day were four branded watches, 171 branded handbags and 27 pairs of expensive shoes while 40 luxury handbags were confiscated on June 11, 2018.
Meanwhile, 27 Nissan Urvan vehicles were seized on Aug 2, 2018.
In addition, money amounting to more than RM18 million in several accounts at different banks, namely, the Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, Al-Rajhi Bank Berhad, Malayan Banking Berhad, CIMB Bank Berhad, RHB Bank Berhad, Public Bank Berhad, AmBank Berhad and the Hong Leong Bank Berhad, was frozen between Aug 16, 2018 and March 11, 2019.
Also seized was a property in Tanjong Bungah, Penang, belonging to the 13th respondent on Jan 17 this year.
The prosecution also filed a similar motion against Obyu Holding Sdn Bhd as the sole respondent, for the High Court to publish a notice to summon any third party who claims to have any interest in items seized from the company to come before the court on the date specified in the notice to show cause as to why these should not be forfeited to the government.
Among items seized on May 17, 2018, include 11,990 pieces of jewellery, 401 watches, 16 pieces of watch accessories, 234 pairs of eyewear and 306 handbags while cash amounting to RM114,164,393.44 in various denominations was confiscated on Jan 31, 2019 .
A property in Kuala Lumpur district was also seized on Nov 1, 2018.