Kuala Lumpur—Fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho is rumoured to be in Wuhan, the city in central China that is the epicenter of the current Covid-19 outbreak, and the country’s police chief says that is he is infected, he should come home.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said “We previously received intelligence that he was hiding in Wuhan.”
Mr Abdul Hamid also said that it is unknown if Mr Low had left Wuhan after the virus spread.
The Malaysian police chief added that if the fugitive financier “happens to get the virus”, he should “come to Malaysia, our health facilities are the best so far as nine patients have recovered to date,” South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports.
Mr Abdul Hamid had said late in 2019 that he would be able to bring Mr Low back to Malaysia by Christmas time. According to him, the financier is on Interpol’s Red List but not on the public listing.
With some frustration, the Malaysian police chief said at that time that the efforts to bring Mr Low to justice had been hindered by state authorities in different countries with whom the financier had sought protection.
Mr Abdul Hamid said at the end of December of last year, “Among the excuses they gave include Jho Low apparently having changed his looks by undergoing facial surgery to look like a bear. Sometimes when he walks, he looks like a [bear]. So when we look at him from behind, that is how he looks. Do you think this excuse is logical?”
He added, “In bilateral ties with police in other countries, we expect honesty in terms of co-operation. There must be a spirit of reciprocity. But this is where I’m disappointed. I expected honest co-operation. But there has been no honesty.”
However, he has promised that he will continue his efforts to bring Low to justice. He said he is “not relaxing”.
“I vow to never give up on my efforts to bring him to book. We will also double our efforts to seize assets and items purchased using stolen funds,” he added.
The police chief said that he hoped that people have not run out of patience with him. “I can’t continue to be disappointed. I have promised to work hard in bringing this criminal back before the end of the year, and I am not relaxing.
“I am using various departments within the police force to work towards bringing him back. I hope the people can be patient.”
Mr Low has been identified as the central figure in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, wherein approximately S$6 billion was said to have been siphoned from a sovereign wealth fund. Low has been at large for more than a year now, although he maintains his innocence through his lawyers and via statements on his website.
He has said that he refuses to return to Malaysia since he believes that it is impossible for him to get a fair trial in his home country.
According to his lawyers, he is currently in a country that “acts in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and European Convention on Human Rights”. —/TISG
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