Malaysia has so far seized about US$16.5 million of 1MDB linked fugitive businessman Jho Low, with a seizure of 48 million ringgit (US$11.6 million) adding to the earlier US$4.8 million assets seized.
The latest seizure belonging to Jho Low’s father has infuriated the businessman who is believed to be in hiding in China.
In the the first domestic forfeiture of assets linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, a Malaysian court last week granted a 48 million ringgit (US$11.6 million) seizure of Jho Low’s father’s assets.
According to local media reports, some US$4.5 billion of funds were allegedly plundered from state-run fund 1MDB.
Along with a bungalow under the name of Jho Low’s mother Goh Gaik Ewe, the government also seized some 18 million ringgit worth of assets including cars, watches, handbags and cash. The bungalow, located in Penang’s Tanjung Bungah Park was seized last year in March by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s administration.
Last year, the Mahathir administration also seized and sold Low’s luxury yacht called Equanimity. Low denies any involvement in the 1MDB scandal and has said he will not return to face investigations in his home country because he has no faith in the justice system under Mahathir.
Low Hock Peng, who holds the title of ‘Tan Sri’ conferred by the country’s sultans, was absent from the court hearing, and police have issued a warrant of arrest on him.
Reports allege that Jho Low lives in China with the tacit support of authorities there, while Beijing has denied claims that it is harbouring him.
Investigations into the 1MDB scandal are continue outside of Malaysia, with Singapore, the United States and Switzerland among the jurisdictions looking into the allegations.
Singapore police on Thursday said the city-state was returning $37 million seized in connection with the case to Malaysia.
“Part of the monies have already been transferred to Malaysia, while the rest are still being processed by the banks,” they said late Thursday (July 18).
Singapore’s investigations into 1MDB centred on allegations that its financial system was used to launder some of the stolen funds.
The financial hub has jailed a Swiss banker and three Singaporean private bankers for their roles in the affair. /TISG