Fugitive hit with new charges

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 6 Dec 2018

Fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho faces new charges of laundering more than US$1 billion (HK$7.8 billion), in a massive corruption scandal surrounding state fund 1MDB, police said yesterday.

The extraordinary 1MDB controversy allegedly saw billions looted from a Malaysian government investment fund, fueling a worldwide spending spree including on super yachts and van Gogh artwork.

Low, commonly known as Jho Low, is accused of playing a central role in plundering the investment fund. He was an associate of former Malaysian leader Najib Razak, whose government lost power in May - in large part due to allegations the then premier was involved in the vast fraud.

The new money laundering charges, allegedly committed between 2009 and 2014, were filed in a court in Kuala Lumpur.

Besides Low, 37, four others linked to 1MDB, including a business development manager and finance director were also hit with charges, including criminal breach of trust.

The additional charges include five for allegedly laundering US$1.03 billion and another two for laundering US$126 million.

The fugitive said through his spokesman that he was innocent, adding he will "not submit to any jurisdiction where guilt has been predetermined by politics, and there is no independent legal process."

Low is believed to be holed up in China after fleeing Macau.

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