KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Singapore on Wednesday said Hong Kong had turned down its request in 2016 to arrest Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, who is wanted in connection with an alleged multi-billion-dollar graft scandal at Malaysian state fund 1MDB.
The statement came as authorities in Malaysia continue to try to track down Low, who has been identified by investigators in Malaysia and the United States as a key figure in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case.
The U.S. Department of Justice says an estimated $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates. At least six countries are conducting investigations into the affairs of 1MDB.
"We issued a warrant of arrest for Low in April 2016, following investigations and charges against him for offences of money-laundering and dishonestly receiving stolen property," Singapore police said in a statement on Wednesday.
Singapore sent a request to the Hong Kong Department of Justice in the same month for assistance to provisionally arrest Low, but its request was declined by Hong Kong authorities, the police said.
Low's spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.
Singapore said the arrest warrant and an Interpol red notice against Low have been in force since 2016.
MAY HAVE LEFT MACAU
A day earlier, the Malaysian authorities had said they had asked authorities in Macau to detain Low. They suspected he had previously fled to Macau to evade arrest in Hong Kong.
Malaysia's immigration department cancelled Low's passport in June. The head of the department was quoted by Malaysia's state news agency Bernama as saying he believed Low was using a passport issued by another country in order to travel.
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