KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 ― Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador has reportedly confirmed the whereabouts of fugitive financier Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, believed to be hiding in Macau.
Utusan Malaysia reported him saying that the flamboyant businessman and his family members have also been moving freely in Hong Kong, adding that the Chinese government is allegedly protecting the latter.
“Efforts to bring Jho Low home has been ongoing for a long time, however until now, there has not been any convincing responses from the republic.
“Jho Low entered Macau after being traced to his location in Thailand. Two days before the announcement of the results of the 14th general election, Jho Low was still here, but fled to the neighbouring state after the results were announced,” he reportedly said.
Abdul Hamid also reportedly felt “as if the Chinese government was being insincere” in the joint operation with its Malaysian counterpart to extradite Low, resulting in the process not being carried out to date.
Abdul Hamid said that Low has also made several transactions purchasing properties in Macau, using funds “robbed” from Malaysia.
He added that Low had also attempted to purchase properties in Cyprus, but the plan was foiled by authorities.
“Not only that. We also successfully detected several properties hidden by Jhow Low and his family here, that is in Kuala Lumpur and Penang worth million of dollars, purchased using funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB),” he added.
Abdul Hamid assured that police intelligence has been hot on Low's heels, working silently and aided by several foreign agencies, as Low had made transactions to purchase properties by using several companies as proxies.
Wanted Penang-born Low, known to the world as Jho Low and derisively “the billion dollar whale”, had in January, insisted that he is not the mastermind of the alleged fraud of 1MDB as portrayed publicly.
In his first interview with the media since fleeing Malaysia in 2015, the fugitive told The Straits Times via an email interview, that he is a convenient scapegoat in the multibillion-dollar global financial scandal by virtue of not being a politician.
He described himself as an “introducer and intermediary”, a cog in the wheel who had been “requested to assist” the governments of Malaysia and those in the Middle East purportedly due to his “good relationships with influential foreign businessmen and decision makers”. He did not disclose the identity of his requester, whether the person was Malaysian or otherwise.
He also described his role as a government intermediary as having helped to build relationships that have “directly or indirectly assisted Malaysia, including helping Malaysians that were stranded during the crisis in Egypt to get safely back home to Malaysia via Saudi Arabia; the increase in Haj quotas for Malaysian Muslims”, among others.
Like many of his cryptic emailed responses issued through his publicists, Low’s emailed interview with The Straits Times however, continued to evade many questions and throw up new ones concerning his role in 1MDB.