Kuala Lumpur—Police in Malaysia said on September 25, Wednesday, that they are aware of the whereabouts of fugitive Malaysian banker Low Taek Jho, popularly known as Jho Low, and that they are confident that they will be able to bring him back to the country by the end of the year.
Mr Low is the central figure at the heart of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) political scandal, for which former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is currently on trial for corruption. A staggering S$6 billion was said to have been siphoned from the public wealth fund.
Aside from corruption, Mr Najib has also been charged with criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power, and Mr Low has been charged with money laundering in connection to the fund.
According to Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, the Inspector-General of Police, while the police know where the fugitive banker is, they cannot pinpoint as yet when exactly he’ll be brought back to Malaysia.
At a forum which was broadcast all over Malaysia, the Inspector General said,
“I will try my best to expedite (the process) … hopefully, we can get him back by the end of the year.
It is not fair to me to put a timeline on when to bring him back.
However, we will try to expedite (the process) and hopefully we will get a decision by the end of the year, ” he said, adding that negotiations to return Jho Low to Malaysia have already begun.
He also said, “It is purely based on criminal cases. In fact, it is the biggest commercial crime case in the world based on US standards.
I am increasing the tempo to pressure the party to allow us to bring him back.”
The Inspector General said that Malaysia has an extradition agreement with the country where Mr Low currently is, according to the Star Online, and added, “I was told that he is free to move around and conduct business without restrictions there.
The same can be said for four or five other people who are in cahoots with him.”
Mr Abdul Hamid characterized the banker as “very cunning and has had an evil agenda from the beginning.
He used money to buy influence and purchase numerous things. I believe he is being protected by a certain party to continue to hide in a certain country.”
In December of last year, Mr Low declared his innocence in the midst of criminal charges in connection to 1MDB filed mid-month against US finance giant Goldman Sachs.
Since Mr Low has been at large for some time now, he declared his innocence through a spokesman, Wells Haslem Mayhew Strategic Public Affairs co-CEO Benjamin Haslem, his legal representatives, on Monday, December 17. The statement was also published on Low’s website.
STATEMENT REGARDING MALAYSIAN AUTHORITIES FILING CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST GOLDMAN SACHS AND OTHERS – 17 DECEMBER 2018
“Mr. Low maintains his innocence. As has been stated previously, Mr. Low will not submit to any jurisdiction where guilt has been predetermined by politics and there is no independent legal process.
It is clear that Mr. Low cannot get a fair trial in Malaysia, where the regime has proven numerous times that they have no interest in the rule of law.”/ TISG
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