KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) – Malaysia’s police are seeking Jho Low’s parents, an associate and a Singaporean as they widen their search for evidence of possible wrongdoing in their investigation into the scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Authorities are calling for information on Low’s parents Low Hock Peng and Goh Gaik Ewe as well as Tan Kim Loong, Low’s associate, the police said in a statement.
They are also seeking Shabnam Naraindas Daswani, a Singaporean who is also known as Natasha Mirpuri.
Low’s father and Tan, also known as Eric Tan, have already been named by the police as part of their probe into the state fund, which lies at the centre of a massive scandal that has ensnared Goldman Sachs Group and prompted investigations across the globe.
Tan is facing joint charges with Low for allegedly receiving illicit funds, while the police have requested the Interpol’s help to track down Low and his father.
US prosecutors have painted Jho Low as the alleged mastermind of scheme to siphon money from 1MDB into personal accounts disguised to look like legitimate businesses, and kicked back some of those funds to officials. Low has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Goh had been named in a US court filing in November in a warrant to seize a pair of diamond earrings and a matching diamond ring believed to be linked to 1MDB, Malaysiakini news website reported on Nov 6. The filing said that authorities were seeking cooperation from Thailand, where they believed Goh resided, the report said.
Malaysia’s police did not explain why they are seeking Mirpuri.
Meanwhile, police have also asked law firms to turn over documents related to 1MDB bond sales that Goldman Sachs arranged, as part of an investigation involving the US lender.
Police raided Rahmat Lim & Partners, the law firm that represented Goldman Sachs in the deals, on Thursday (Jan 24) morning to search for the documents, The Edge newspaper reported, citing a person it did not identify.
Mr Saiful Azly Kamaruddin, acting director for the police's commercial crime investigation department, confirmed the raid.
Rahmat Lim & Partners, which acted as Malaysian legal counsel for Goldman Sachs in support of an unnamed British law firm, confirmed that the police came to its offices, and that it had already given the police documents that were not subject to attorney-client privilege, it said in an e-mailed statement late on Thursday.
"We have provided our fullest cooperation to the police, and remain fully committed to cooperating with them, within the confines of the law," it said in the note.
Goldman Sachs is facing its first criminal charges related to its role in arranging US$6.5 billion (S$8.8 billion) for the scandal-plagued state investment fund 1MDB. Malaysian prosecutors allege that the bank misled investors in the three bond sales while knowing the money raised would be misappropriated. The bank has said it will vigorously defend against the allegations.
Investigators obtained a court order to raid Rahmat Lim & Partners after the firm refused to hand over the requested documents, according to The Edge. Wong & Partners, which represented 1MDB in the deals, had already provided documents to the police, the report said.
A spokesman for Wong & Partners said it does not comment on ongoing investigations, as per its policy.