KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho accused the Malaysian government today of abuse after authorities sought to freeze seven bank accounts belonging to his father who has been charged with money laundering in absentia.
Speaking through a spokesman, Low or Jho Low argued that the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) did not move to seize his family’s mansion in Penang and used this to accuse the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government of “harassment and political persecution.”
“Once again, the Mahathir regime has ignored the rule of law, and in a clear abuse of power is seeking to exploit the attorney general’s office and police force to attack opponents and do Mahathir regime’s personal bidding.
“This is yet another example of the Mahathir regime’s trial by media and is further evidence that it is simply not possible to receive a fair trial in Malaysia,” Low’s spokesman said in a statement.
Yesterday, federal authorities applied to freeze seven bank accounts registered to Tan Sri Larry Low, the father to Jho Low, via a civil forfeiture action.
The accounts are said to hold RM48 million believed to be from the larger misappropriation of 1MDB funds.
Sources told The Edge that they suspect Jho Low of transferring the funds into the accounts via foreign intermediaries.
The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) applied for the seizures using Section 56 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act that allows for such forfeiture prior to active prosecution.
On March 21, investigators from the federal police’s Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Prevention division also posted a notice of seizure on the Low family mansion in Tanjung Bungah Park, Penang.
The enforcement was pursuant to an AGC notice issued in January under the same law used to seize the senior Low’s accounts.
The two Lows were charged in absentia here last year with money laundering and financial fraud related to Goldman Sachs’ bond issues for 1MDB.
Jho Low has refused to return to face trial here by claiming he would not receive a fair hearing.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and others have also been charged over a variety of offences linked to 1MDB, ranging from money-laundering to tampering with a federal audit of the state investment firm.
Aside from Malaysia, other international jurisdictions are also investigating or prosecuting crimes related to the 1MDB global corruption scandal.