Former leader Najib Razak has been embroiled in a massive corruption scandal, though he denies wrongdoing. His party has said that the money found by police is campaign funds and demanded its return.
Authorities in Malaysia announced on Friday that they had found cash worth $28.6 million (€24.5 million) in family homes and more than 400 luxury handbagslinked to former Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Najib suffered a shock election defeat to his onetime ally Mahathir Mohammad earlier this month.
He was questioned for six hours by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday as part of the anti-graft probe into state development fund 1MDB. He has been barred from leaving the country.
Najib had been accused of stealing $700 million from the fund.
According to regional media, Najib's party Unmo said that the money found by police was campaign funds left over from the election that was to be transferred to its new leader. They demanded the commercial crime authorities release it back to them.
"UMNO is in the process of rebuilding and the return of our party funds will help in this process," the party said in a statement.
Raids on the homes of Najib and his wife, as well as his son and daughter, resulted in the confiscation of hundreds of handbags from French designer firm Hermes, as well as jewelry, designer shoes and other luxury items. Police have said they are working with experts to estimate the value of the seized treasures.
Najib, who led Malaysia for nearly a decade, has consistently denied any wrongdoing, insisting that the $680 million that appeared in his bank account a few years ago was the gift of an anonymous Saudi royal.
es/jm (AP, Reuters)
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