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Malaysian fugitive Jho Low, four others hit with fresh 1MDB charges

Reuters  |  KUALA LUMPUR 

(Reuters) - filed fresh criminal charges and issued arrest warrants for Low Taek and four others wanted in connection with a multi-billion-dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, officials said on Wednesday.

Low, popularly known as Low, has been identified by Malaysian and U.S. investigators as a central figure in the alleged theft of about $4.5 billion from (1MDB). Low, whose whereabouts is not known, has denied any wrongdoing through a

Last month, U.S. prosecutors charged Low and two former bankers with conspiracy to launder 1MDB money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

On Tuesday, Low and four others were charged with 13 money laundering and criminal breach of trust offences involving losses of 1MDB funds totaling $1.17 billion or 4.2 billion ringgit, based on foreign exchange rates at the time of the offence, Harun said in a statement.

Arrest warrants were issued against the five who have left Malaysia, said.

"If they are found to be in any other country, police and the will take action to request their extradition so that they can be brought back to to face charges in court," he said.

1MDB was founded by former Malaysian in 2009 and is the subject of money-laundering probes in at least six countries, including the United States, and

Najib was ousted in a in May by Mahathir Mohamad, who reopened investigations into 1MDB and Najib's involvement at the fund.

Najib is now facing nearly 40 money laundering and corruption charges related to losses at 1MDB and other government entities. He has consistently denied wrongdoing.

MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES

Low was charged with five counts of money laundering involving transfers totaling $1.03 billion into a Swiss between Sept 30, 2009 and Oct 25, 2011.

Along with his aide, Kim Loong, Low faces two more money laundering charges for receiving $126 million in a Singapore-based bank account, said.

The new charges are in addition to eight counts of money laundering already filed against Low in August.

A for Low said the latest charges were a continuation of "trial-by-media".

"As has been previously stated, Mr. Low will not submit to any jurisdiction where guilt has been predetermined by politics and there is no independent legal process," the said in a statement.

Also charged were 1MDB's former Ai Swan, its former business development director Casey Tang Keng Chee, and former executive director

Loo and Tan have also been named as key figures in U.S. civil lawsuits seeking to seize more than $1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB funds.

Unlike Low who has said he is innocent, Tan and the other three others charged have not made any comment about the 1MDB case, and their whereabouts is also unknown.

($1 = 4.1550 ringgit)

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Michael Perry)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 11:37 IST
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