Malaysia’s disgraced former Prime Minister, Najib Razak, is alleged to have racked up more than $800,000 at a high-end jeweler in just one day – in what prosecutors’ claim is only part of a much larger corruption scandal.
A court in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, the Guardian noted, was presented with statements from Razak’s two platinum cards illuminating a lavish shopping spree at Swiss luxury jeweler, De Grisogono, in Italy, in 2014. Just a few months later, prosecutors alleged, the then leader splashed out a further $108,000 at a Chanel boutique in Hawaii and a five-star hotel in Bangkok using the same cards.
However, Razak took to Facebook on Monday to defend the seemingly opulent purchases, insisting that the monies were “gifts to a senior member of the royalty of a government and their entourage” and that “it is a norm to give gifts to leaders of other governments.”
Razak, who was ousted from the top job last May, is currently standing trial amid dozens of accusations related to corruption, abuse of power, and misuse of funds associated with a government account known as 1MDB.
He is alleged to have forked out in excess of $4 billion embezzled from the government account to lead a lavish lifestyle replete with celebrity parties and fancy yachts to real estate purchases and financing films across the globe along with his wife, Rosmah Mansour.
Following his arrest more than a year ago, authorities are said to have uncovered a treasure trove of designer goods worth more than $270 million and including over 550 high-end handbags, 2,200 rings, 14 tiaras and 1,400 necklaces – just to name a portion.
Razak faces more than 20 years behind bars if convicted.