Jho Low, dad charged with money laundering

Rahmat Khairulrijal, Farah Marshita Abdul Patah

PUTRAJAYA: THE Sessions Court has issued warrants of arrest against businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, and his father, Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng. This is to enable the duo to be detained abroad to face money-laundering charges related to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal. The warrants against Low, 37, and his father, 66, were issued after the Sessions Court approved an application filed by the police’s Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers against the duo, who had fled abroad. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said police, via CCID, had conducted an investigation on the criminal offences involving financial transactions and businesses conducted by 1MDB. “The outcome of our investigations were referred to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for a decision on the charges against the two under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001. “Warrants of arrest have been obtained against the two. The police will submit a ‘Red Notice’ to Interpol to track and capture them and bring them back to face the charges,” he said. The application was filed in absentia at the Sessions Court yesterday to enable police to apply for an extradition order against Low and his father, who are believed to be hiding in China or Abu Dhabi.l Based on the charge sheet presented to the courts, Low faces eight individual charges under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 for receiving and transferring funds obtained from money-laundering activities. Low’s father faces one charge of transferring US$56 million derived from money-laundering activities to his son under the same act.

In total, the funds totaled US$261 million (RM1 billion) while the transferred amount involved US$196 million. The process of receiving and transferring the funds were done via separate accounts with BSI Bank of Singapore between December 2013 and June 2014. For each charge, both father and son could be fined up to RM5 million or jailed up to five years, or both. United States Attorney-General Jeff Sessions had previously described the 1MDB scandal as “kleptocracy at its worst”. The US Department of Justice, meanwhile, had dubbed the 1MDB issue as the world’s biggest kleptocracy. Legislative bodies in countries, such as Switzerland and Singapore, had initiated action against banks and individuals connected to money-laundering linked to 1MDB. On July 4, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was formerly chairman of the 1MDB advisory board, was brought to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to face three charges of criminal breach of trust and one count of abusing his position in relation to SRC International Sdn Bhd funds, worth RM42 million. The former prime minister was then brought to the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Aug 8, where he pleaded not guilty to three charges of receiving money derived from illegal activities, totaling RM42 million, through his personal bank account.

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