Jho Low might head for the West Indies next: Report
SINGAPORE: The hunt for Malaysian businessman Jho Low continues after it was revealed on Wednesday (Jul 11) that he had fled Macau for an unknown destination.
However, a report in the Star which cited a source, said Low, whose real name is Low Taek Jho, might be headed for the West Indies next.
This is primarily because Low has two passports – one from Malaysia and another from Saint Kitts and Nevis, a country situated in the Caribbean – the Star reported.
Low’s Malaysia passport was cancelled by the Malaysian immigration department on Jun 15.
The businessman has been wanted for questioning since 2016 as part of investigations linked to the Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which was founded by former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak in 2009.
Najib has been charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power.
READ: 1MDB scandal: A timeline
“Low is a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis and has properties on Saint Kitts island,” the Star reported, quoting a source. “The authorities believe he is likely to head there to seek refuge, as he has nowhere else to run to.
“From there, he can hop to the many surrounding island countries, where law enforcement is said to be lax.”
READ: The charges against Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak
Located between Barbados and Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship can be obtained through a US$250,000 cash donation or via the purchase of real estate worth at least US$400,000, the Star said.
Citizens can also travel to more than 140 countries, including Canada, Britain and Europe, without a visa, the report added.
Malaysia also does not have an extradition treaty with many of the island nations in the Caribbean.
The earliest report of Low’s whereabouts was in October 2017, when he was said to be in Phuket, according to the report, adding that Low visited several Indonesian islands from November 2017 to February 2018, when his Cayman-registered yacht “Equanimity” was seized by Indonesian authorities as part of 1MDB investigations.
READ: Anti-graft agency raids apartment of Malaysian businessman Jho Low: Reports
He was reportedly in Macau, Shanghai and Bangkok from March to April 2018 and in Phuket in May, when Malaysia’s watershed general election took place.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Low was spotted at a birthday party in Macau on Feb 12, 2018.
On Wednesday, Malaysia inspector-general of police Mohammad Fuzi Harun told reporters that Low had fled Macau after arriving from Hong Kong via a ferry.
At least six countries, including Singapore, Malaysia and the US, are conducting probes related to the scandal in which more than US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB, according to US lawsuits.
Singapore and Malaysia have made applications for a Red Notice to INTERPOL requesting assistance to locate Low.
Singapore even sent a request to Hong Kong for the arrest of Low in 2016, but was declined.