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Malaysia in talks to bring back Jho Low, says Anwar

The prime minister says the negotiation process with other countries is complicated.

1 minute read
Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho. Photo: AFP
Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho. Photo: AFP

Malaysia is negotiating with other countries to speed up the return of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, wanted for his role in the multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said today.

Low, better known as Jho Low, has been charged in Malaysia and the US for allegedly masterminding the theft of US$4.5 billion from state fund 1MDB. He has consistently denied wrongdoing.

Anwar told reporters Malaysia was committed to bringing back Low as quickly as possible, describing the negotiation process with other nations as complicated.

"It involves many countries, it involves intelligence services, Interpol, et cetera," Anwar said. He did not reveal the countries involved in the talks, and declined to confirm Low's whereabouts.

Malaysian authorities previously said Low was believed to be in China, though Beijing has denied this.

At least six countries have opened probes into 1MDB, in a wide-ranging scandal that has ensnared financial institutions and high-ranking officials across the globe.

Former prime minister Najib Razak, who co-founded 1MDB, was sentenced to 12 years in prison last year and faces several other trials for corruption and money laundering linked to the scandal.

In 2019, US authorities struck a deal with Low to recoup a record US$1 billion in funds allegedly looted from 1MDB, which included a private jet, high-end real estate in Beverly Hills, New York and London, and other assets.