Jho Low's private jet could go under the hammer if payment not made to Seletar hangar owner

A file photo taken on Feb 6, 2017, shows a Bombardier Global 5000 plane without a body number parked at Seletar Airport. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - A private plane, believed to be owned by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, widely known as Jho Low, could go under the hammer if payment is not made to a firm that has been storing the aircraft in its hangar at Seletar Airport for about 18 months.

It is believed that the amount owed has snowballed to about $1.2 million.

"It may be the only way for the firm in question, Jet Aviation, to recover its payment if nobody wants to settle the bill," said a source, who did not wish to be identified.

In the meantime, Changi Airport Group (CAG), which manages Seletar Airport, has denied a Malaysian media report that it is owed any storage fees by the aircraft's owner.

Spokesman Ivan Tan confirmed this to The Straits Times following the report that the Malaysian authorities would have to pay Seletar Airport the outstanding amount if it wants the plane back.

Jet Aviation did not reply to queries from The Straits Times.

Last week, the Singapore authorities confirmed that no official request has been made by the Malaysian government for the return of the US$35 million (S$48 million) aircraft - the subject of ongoing 1MDB-related investigations.

The Bombardier Global 5000 aircraft was reportedly impounded by the Singapore authorities in 2017 and grounded.

The aircraft is part of about US$1 billion in assets allegedly acquired with funds misappropriated from 1MDB, a Malaysian state investment firm.

Mr Low allegedly bought the vessel with funds stolen from 1MDB.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said a few weeks ago that his government was looking to bring home the private jet.

Malaysia has also seized a US$250 million (S$342 million) super yacht, Equanimity, with cooperation from the Indonesian authorities.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.