GEORGE TOWN • A three-storey house in Penang owned by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho's family has been seized by the police.
It is believed that officers from the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Prevention division of Malaysia's federal police visited the RM15 million (S$5 million) property in Tanjung Bungah Park last Thursday to issue a notice of seizure.
The notice was issued by the Attorney-General's Chambers under a sub-section of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, and was signed by deputy public prosecutor Syafinas Shabudin.
It is believed no one was at home during the visit by the authorities.
The owner of the bungalow is Ms Goh Gaik Ewe, 66, who is the mother of Low, also known as Jho Low.
United States prosecutors have painted Low - whose whereabouts are unknown - as the alleged mastermind of a scheme to siphon money from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) into personal accounts disguised to look like legitimate businesses, and give some of those funds to officials as kickbacks.
He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
The US Department of Justice has said some US$4.5 billion (S$6.1 billion) of 1MDB funds were misappropriated.
A spokesman for Low, through his attorneys, said in a statement that the house in Tanjung Bungah was "built and completed around 20 years ago".
"This was more than a decade before 1MDB ever existed and, at that time, Mr Low was still a teenager," the spokesman said, accusing Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of trying to score "political wins" through the seizure.
Malaysia has issued warrants of arrest against Low and his associates, and charged him with money laundering.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK