You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Malaysian financier 'flees to mainland China'

AFP logoAFP 11/7/2018
A flamboyant playboy known for partying with Hollywood A-listers, Malaysian financier Jho Low is a close associate of toppled prime minister Najib Razak and allegedly conspired with him to loot billions from the investment vehicle 1MDB © Provided by AFP A flamboyant playboy known for partying with Hollywood A-listers, Malaysian financier Jho Low is a close associate of toppled prime minister Najib Razak and allegedly conspired with him to loot billions from the investment vehicle 1MDB

A financier at the centre of a massive financial scandal that helped topple Malaysia's corruption-plagued former regime is likely to have fled to China, the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday.

Jho Low, accused of being a key figure in the scandal surrounding sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, was believed to have travelled through semi-autonomous Hong Kong and Macau before crossing into the mainland.

A flamboyant playboy known for partying with Hollywood A-listers, he is a close associate of toppled prime minister Najib Razak and allegedly conspired with him to loot the investment vehicle.

The Post cited a security source in Macau as saying it was "almost without doubt safe to say Low is now on the mainland. In fact, that is probably one of the reasons he came to Macau in the first place".

Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said Wednesday that Macau authorities informed Kuala Lumpur by email that Low had left the casino hub for an "unknown destination", according to the state Bernama news agency.

Macau authorities told AFP they had received a request from the Malaysian government concerning Low -- full name Low Taek Jho -- but would give no further detail.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said last month that the country was seeking 36-year-old Low's arrest and that he had gone abroad.

Public disgust over claims that former leader Najib and his cronies looted 1MDB was a major factor in the shock election loss of Najib's long-ruling coalition.

Apparently a close friend of Najib, Low allegedly helped to establish 1MDB and was said to be part of a scheme to plunder billions from the fund.

Low held no official positions at 1MDB but is believed to have exerted great influence over the fund.

US authorities allege that more than $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB by high-level officials at the fund and their associates between 2009 and 2015.

Accused of using looted money to buy items such as art and a 300-foot (90-metre) luxury yacht, the high-rolling Low was photographed partying with celebrities like Paris Hilton and Leonardo DiCaprio, and spent huge sums in New York party hotspots.

Immigration officials have said they cancelled his Malaysian passport last month but he is believed to be using an alternative.

Prime Minister Mahathir is set to visit China next month to discuss "unfair" terms for several big projects signed by his scandal-tainted predecessor Najib Razak.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon