KUALA LUMPUR,. The police have released details of the in absentia charges against fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and four others yesterday, revealing that these involved defrauding the government of US$1.17 billion (RM4.2 billion).
According to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun, the charges stem from the Commercial Crime Investigation Department’s probe completed on December 2 and submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
Aside from Low or Jho Low, others charged yesterday include former 1MDB business development director Casey Tang, the state investment firm’s ex-general counsel Jasmine Loo, its previous finance director Terrence Geh, and one Eric Tan.
“The combined charges against the five named above are 13 charges that involve losses of US$1.17 billion or equivalent to RM4.2 billion,” the IGP said.
Low alone was hit with five charges under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 (AMLATFA) over the transfer of US$1.03 billion to Good Star Ltd, a firm in which he is the beneficiary owner, between 2009 and 2011.
He was also jointly charged with Eric Tan under the same law over US$126 million over a transaction related to medium-term bonds issued by the Terengganu Investment Authority, 1MDB’s predecessor, in May 2009.
Tang was charged with one count under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust for transferring US$700 million to Good Star and another two counts of money laundering under the AMLATFA for shifting US$6.7 million to the accounts of Transnation Ltd (Seychelles) and Totality Ltd held in the now-defunct BSI Bank in 2009 and 2010.
The two charges against Loo were proffered under the AMLATFA for her receipt of US$6 million in an account with the Falcon Private Bank in Switzerland in 2012 and 2014.
Geh is in the dock for one count of CBT related to the transfer of US$125 million to Good Star in 2011.
The IGP confirmed that his agency secured yesterday warrants to arrest all five whom he said have absconded from the country. Fuzi added that his agency will seek Interpol’s aid as well as that of related jurisdictions to detain the group.
“If they are determined to be in any other country, the Royal Malaysia Police will, through the AGC, apply to extradite them to Malaysia where they will be made to stand trial,” he added.
BSI Bank has since collapsed under the weight of the 1MDB scandal while Falcon Private Bank is teetering on the edge of failure, with both accused of playing crucial roles in facilitating the financial frauds.
Aside from the fresh prosecution against him yesterday, Low was previously charged with money laundering along with his father, Tan Sri Larry Low, in August.
Yesterday, Low rejected the new charges and arrest warrant issued against him by claiming that Malaysian authorities were politically motivated in their pursuit of him.
Authorities have also charged former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Irwan Serigar directly over the scandal.
The 1MDB corruption and money laundering scandal is ongoing in several jurisdictions, but is primarily playing out in Malaysia and the US where the country’s Justice Department and banking regulators are reportedly escalating their probes.