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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — The High Court has granted the Malaysian government a judgment in default (JID) against 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) former general counsel or in-house lawyer Jasmine Loo Ai Swan, in the lawsuit over the RM2.496 million in taxes that she has yet to pay to the government.
In a report by local business daily The Edge’s news portal The Edge Markets, High Court judge Datuk Azimah Omar issued the JID on February 18 (last Thursday), following an online hearing attended by Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhammad Nabil Abdul Halim for the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).
The news report stated that no lawyer appeared on behalf of Loo.
The news report cited an anonymous source as confirming that the court had recorded a judgment in default against Loo.
According to The Edge Markets, a JID is a judgment that is recorded when a defendant fails to contest or plead a claim by the plaintiff. The plaintiff in this case would be the Malaysian government.
Loo is one of the fugitives who fled Malaysia and is wanted in the country to face charges over the massive financial scandal. She is also one of the individuals that Malaysia’s IRB is seeking to recover unpaid taxes worth millions.
On January 8, the IRB had via the Malaysian government filed the lawsuit against Loo to claim RM2,496.133.05 in tax arrears or unpaid taxes for the assessment years 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Prior to the filing of the lawsuit against Loo, the IRB had issued notices dated October 19, 2020 to Loo to claim the unpaid taxes, with the notices sent on November 18, 2020 to Loo’s last known address in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur and without any response received.
In the lawsuit, the Malaysian government claimed RM2,496.133.05 from Loo, along with a 5 per cent interest per annum on the nearly RM2.5 million amount from the date of the court’s decision until the day it is paid.
Separately, the Malaysian government had on December 4, 2020 also filed a lawsuit against 1MDB’s former executive director for business development Tang Keng Chee or Casey Tang to claim income taxes owed amounting to RM6,779,852.36 or almost RM6.8 million for the assessment years 2009 to 2017.
Previously on January 15, the IRB had also via the Malaysian government filed a lawsuit to claim nearly RM68 million in unpaid taxes from 2010 to 2013 from Tan Kim Loong — otherwise known as Eric Tan or reportedly Low Taek Jho’s most trusted associate.
Separately, The Edge Markets yesterday reported that OCBC Bank (M) Bhd had in September 2020 filed a lawsuit against Loo to seek to auction her apartment in Apollo Tower, Mont Kiara in Kuala Lumpur which she had purchased in 2020, following her failure to pay the remaining RM308,375 sum in a bank loan.
The Edge Markets said the lawsuit in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur seeking to auction Loo’s property has been rescheduled from February 19 to March 16, due to the ongoing movement control order (MCO).