Report: Wanted in Malaysia, but still business as usual for Jho Low in HK

Ranjit Singh
Malaysian authorities have requested Interpol’s assistance in detaining Low and have deployed police teams to locations where he is believed to be. — Picture via Facebook

KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — Billionaire Low Taek Jho is believed to still be actively running his Jynwel Capital holding firm and non-profit group Jynwel Charitable Foundation this month, according to the South China Morning Post.

Also allegedly in Hong Kong with Low is his business associate Seet Li Lin, a Singaporean who is connected to a Shanghai consulting firm owned by one of 37-year-old Low’s companies.

Low is being sought here in Malaysia in connection with the 1MDB corruption scandal. He has also been implicated by the US Justice Department’s kleptocracy lawsuit to recover assets allegedly bought using stolen 1MDB monies.

“Documents from the city’s Companies Registry show that on July 9 Low signed two documents to change both firms’ company secretary from B & Mck Nominees to KV Pro Services in Mong Kok,” SCMP reported.

However, the daily said it is not known if Low was in Hong Kong when he signed the documents. The registry said a signatory need not be in the city to sign the papers.

B & Mck is a subsidiary of US law firm Baker McKenzie. A spokesman from the law firm confirmed it had ceased to work for Low’s companies, but declined to provide the reason.  

Low, or better known as Jho Low, was a close associate to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who has been charged here over the alleged misappropriation of funds from a former 1MDB subsidiary.

Malaysian authorities have requested Interpol’s assistance in detaining Low and have deployed police teams to locations where he is believed to be, in an attempt to bring him here for questioning.

Low has so far managed to evade capture.

According to SCMP, Low’s elder brother, Low Taek Szen, who is also managing director of Jynwel Capital, signed documents last month applying to the Hong Kong Companies Registry to have its name changed to Quinton Investments and for the non-profit to be called Quantima Charitable Foundation.

The HK-based news outlet said Jynwel did not respond to requests for information on Low’s location.

A source familiar with the operations of the Shanghai-based business consulting firm owned by Jynwel Capital told SCMP it has three staff from Malaysia and Hong Kong and registered capital of US$3.3 million (RM13.2 million).

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Jynwel recently tried to shutter the company, which was set up two years ago and based at the Shanghai World Financial Centre.

Seet reportedly attended Wharton Business School with Low. He worked for Jynwel Capital from November 2012 to April 2017 on deals related to securities, according to Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission.

SCMP visited Seet’s home on Saturday and his wife confirmed he was still in the city, but would not answer other questions.

According to a 251-page document filed by the DOJ in June 2017, Seet was chief investment officer of Good Star, a Seychelles-registered company ultimately owned by Low, which received US$700 million of fraudulently diverted funds from 1MDB for a joint venture project with PetroSaudi, a Saudi Arabian oil company.

Low’s Malaysian passport was cancelled on June 15, but both Jho Low and his brother have Hong Kong identity cards.

Low also holds a passport from the small Caribbean island nation of St Kitts and Nevis, according to the Malaysian government.