Mahathir unaware of Jho Low's reported arrest in China

Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, is wanted in a global corruption probe in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad state fund.
Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, is wanted in a global corruption probe in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad state fund. PHOTO: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that he had no information on whether fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, had been detained in China.

Mr Low is wanted in a global corruption probe in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund.

Malaysia's China Press and Sarawak Report, citing an unnamed Hong Kong radio station, reported yesterday that Mr Low had fled to the mainland from Hong Kong.

According to the unconfirmed reports, Mr Low is being detained on the mainland pending Tun Dr Mahathir's planned visit to China next month.

Dr Mahathir yesterday told reporters outside Parliament that he had not received news of Mr Low's arrest. In comments carried by local media, he added: "No information; all I know is that he is jumping from place to place. I hope he is arrested," he said.

Asked if Malaysia and China had any extradition treaty, Dr Mahathir replied: "No, but they can always give him back to us."

Malaysian police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said yesterday that he could not confirm reports that the billionaire fugitive had been captured. "I have not got any information on that, and cannot respond to it," he was reported as saying by The Star newspaper.

 

Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi said that Malaysian police had previously managed to trace Mr Low to Hong Kong, Macau and China, but did not have firm information about his current location. He added that police would verify the reports.

The Inspector-General of Police also said an Interpol notice had already been sent out for the elusive businessman. "We are also not sure of his exact location," he said. "If we have his exact location, we will narrow it down and seek help from the relevant country."

Mr Low has been painted by US prosecutors as the mastermind behind billions of dollars allegedly misappropriated from the fund, while Singapore investigators have called him a "key person of interest". He has denied any wrongdoing.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2018, with the headline 'Mahathir unaware of Jho Low's reported arrest in China'. Print Edition | Subscribe