In Malaysia itself, the haul has been immense. Just days after Mr. Najib was voted out, the police raided six residences connected to him. They seized 35 bags of cash in 26 currencies, and it took 22 officers three days to determine their full value — about $30 million. There were bags of gold (25), Hermes handbags (272) and watches (423). Everything is being stored in Kuala Lumpur at the Malaysian central bank.
“The numbers were just too huge for us to do the accounting on the premises,” said Amar Singh, who led the asset seizures for the Royal Malaysian Police.
Mr. Najib has denied wrongdoing, and Farhan Shafee, a member of his legal team, said, “As far as we can see and as far as the documents provided show, the assets that were seized have nothing to do with the charges that have been brought.”
As for Mr. Tol, the piano maker, he said he felt terrible if he had unwittingly accepted money “destined for the normal people of Malaysia.”
“I don’t like it,” he said. “It is not my way of life.”
Vickey Barron, a real estate broker who sold a $51 million penthouse in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood to another man later implicated in the 1MDB case, Khadem al-Qubaisi, recalled the transaction as a blur. (Mr. al-Qubaisi has been jailed in Abu Dhabi since 2016, making it difficult to defend himself, his lawyer said.)
An entourage of about half a dozen people had zipped through a tour of the apartment, and within a day, a representative called to say they would take it.
She called it one of the strangest deals she’d ever done. “I take longer to buy a pair of sneakers,” she said, “than he took to buy the apartment.”