Unfettered spending seems to run in the family: In the same week where his stepson Riza Aziz’s movie poster spending millions was revealed by the United States Department of Justice, former prime minister, Najib Razak, had his own buying habits laid out before a Malaysian court.
In his trial, where he is defending himself against some of the over 40 charges relating to graft in the 1MDB financial scandal, yesterday it was revealed that in a single day, the disgraced former leader once spent US$800,000 on his platinum credit card in a single day at an upscale jeweler.
On August 8, 2014, back when none of us were any of the wiser of the billions that were allegedly flowing out of the sovereign wealth fund intended for Malaysia’s development, Najib was spending RM3.3 million (US$803,000) at De Grisogono, a Swiss luxury jewelry boutique in Italy. The purchases were spread over two cards linked to the defendant, both his Visa and Mastercard.
Beats shopping the discount food items at Ben’s Grocer, na mean?!
A few months later, his plastic was put to work again at a Chanel boutique in Hawaii, where a cool RM466,00 (US$113,000) was dropped, and then later at Bangkok’s luxuy Shangri-La hotel. Both cards were used at both locations, and payments on the card were made using Najib’s Ambank account, alleges the prosecution. Bills pertaining to the trio of sprees were presented as evidence to a Kuala Lumpur court Monday.
Najib’s current trial sees him defending himself against a litany of charges over the misuse of a subsidiary fund called SRC International, but not to worry justice-warriors – he’s still got more charges and trials in the pipeline.
Nearly five billions dollars was looted from the 1MDB investment vehicle between 2009 and 2014 and spent on everything from yachts to expensive artwork, in a fraud allegedly involving the disgraced Malaysian ex-premier Najib Razak and his cronies. Prosecutors are alleging that US$681 million went into Najib’s personal account, with funds being used to finance an opulent lifestyle for him and his ostentatious wife, Rosmah Mansor, herself currently on trial.
Both claim they are innocent, with yesterday’s evidence being dismissed by the defense as a gift from the former PM to an unnamed royal head of state.
If only the evidence stopped at a trio of sprees and their credit card bills: The world balked after a rain of a series of related residences and properties turned up an arsenal of luxury goods that police say was worth US$273 million. Among the loot was 1,400 necklaces, 567 handbags, 423 watched, 2,200 rings, 1,600 brooches, and 14 tiaras – CUZ WE ALL KWEENS, BBZ!
This article, Bills of spending sprees at Swiss jeweler, Chanel and Shangri-La come back to haunt Najib at trial, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!