Wednesday, 18 July 2018

How fugitive financier Jho Low stays above the law

Malaysian businessman is wanted in the multi-billion dollar 1MDB money laundering scam but has so far managed to evade arrest and stay in business

Police and immigration authorities in Malaysia and Singapore are on the lookout for fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, a reputed billionaire tycoon who is wanted in connection with a global corruption probe into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state development fund created and overseen by former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Investigators believe the 37-year-old, better known as Jho Low, helped to orchestrate one of the world’s biggest ever financial scandals now under investigation by at least six countries including Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. Malaysia’s newly-elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad reopened a domestic probe into 1MDB as one of his first acts as premier.

Past bids to investigate 1MDB’s dealings were reportedly obstructed by Najib, who removed Malaysia’s then attorney general and sacked critics within his own party in 2015. The former premier was arrested and charged this month with abuse of power and criminal breach of trust for dealings at SRC International, a former 1MDB unit. Najib has since been released on bail.

The government’s renewed 1MDB pursuit recently saw a Malaysian police dragnet closing in on Low, who had until recently occupied multiple upscale Hong Kong apartments with his entourage, according to reports. He reportedly fled to Macau earlier this month before police could apprehend him in Hong Kong.

Read the full story at Asia Times.

Nile Bowie is a writer and journalist with the Asia Times covering current affairs in Singapore and Malaysia. He can be reached at