Malaysian police seized 284 boxes containing designer handbags and dozens of bags stuffed with cash and jewellery from a private residence linked to former prime minister Najib Razak on Friday (May 18) morning.
USA investigators said Mr Najib's associates stole and laundered $US4.5 billion ($6 billion) from the fund, some of which landed in Mr Najib's bank account, and that $30.6 million was used to buy a pink diamond necklace for his wife.
Extensive searches of Najib's home and several other sites began late Wednesday, making good on a pledge by the new government headed by 92-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to investigate the ex-leader.
The fund is being investigated by the authorities of at least six countries, including the USA justice department, which alleges billions were laundered through layers of foreign bank accounts to finance Hollywood films and luxury goods, including jewellery and a yacht.
But Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim, the former opposition leader who was jailed under Najib but freed on Wednesday, have indicated they expected charges against Najib soon.
"The CCID has inspected six premises related to the 1MDB investigations, namely the Prime Minister's Office, official residence and four other homes", he told a press conference after checking the condominiums here early today.
"Now there is a new dawn for Malaysia", said Anwar, flanked by his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and other members of his political party.
Najib, who was ousted from office in a shocking loss in the election, was accused by Mahathir of corruption involving the state development fund he created in 2009.
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Asked to comment, Najib, 64, patted an AFP journalists' arm and said: "Later, later".
Mahathir said the government will seek to retrieve billions of dollars laundered from 1MDB to repay government debts that have piled up over the years.
Some of that money is alleged to have ended up in Najib's personal bank account, according to a civil lawsuit in the United States. In one email he wrote "Looks like we may have hit a goldmine" after organising a 1MDB deal that would later allegedly become a money laundering vehicle.
Najib, whose government was plagued with scandal, was soundly defeated in last week's parliamentary election by a coalition led by veteran politician Mahathir Mohamad, who came out of retirement to challenge Najib, CNN reported.
"Prison officers and staff. were kind, they were compassionate, they were very supportive", he said of his time in jail.
The government has also told the current attorney general, who cleared Najib of wrongdoing in 2016, to go on leave.
Malaysian police raided houses owned by former prime minister Najib Razak, including the one in Taman Duta where he lives. "I can not complain very much", he said.
"I have given my assurance, I am here as a concerned citizen to give complete support to manage the country on the understanding that we are committed to the reform agenda, beginning with the judiciary, media and the entire apparatus", Anwar said in a news conference at his home after he was freed from custody.