Jho Low is being charged in Malaysia and the US with alleged theft of $4.5 billion from wealth fund 1MDB.
Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has revealed that his country is negotiating with authorities abroad to secure the return of the fugitive financier who allegedly masterminded the multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal.
Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, is being charged in Malaysia and the United States for allegedly stealing $4.5 billion from the Southeast Asian country’s sovereign wealth fund.
Billions of dollars in government money have reportedly been funneled into luxury properties, fine art, Hollywood movies and bank accounts linked to former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Anwar said Low’s return was being discussed through “diplomatic channels” and that multiple countries were involved.
“It involves many countries, it involves intelligence agencies, Interpol, et cetera,” Anwar told local media, without specifying the countries involved or Low’s whereabouts.
The Malaysian leader said the process was difficult, but was quoted by the New Straits Times newspaper as saying other countries were “cooperating, keeping in touch and lending their support”.
Asked to comment on whether China was involved, Anwar declined to comment, the New Straits Times reported.
Last month, Bradley Hope, an investigative journalist who helped expose the 1MDB corruption scandal, wrote in a blog post that China could repatriate Low in exchange for the Anwar government allowing more Chinese investment in Malaysia.
Multiple countries, including the US, UK, Switzerland and Singapore, have opened investigations into 1MDB.
Last month, Fugees rapper Prakazrel “Pras” Michel was found guilty by a Washington DC jury of conspiring with Low to illegally influence the US government.
In March, Malaysia’s highest court rejected an attempt by Najib to review his corruption conviction after a lower court found him guilty and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.