KUALA LUMPUR: Police intend to request Interpol to issue a Red Notice against fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low.
Inspector-general of police Fuzi Harun said that was the reason for leveling money-laundering charges against Low and his father Low Hock Peng “in absentia” on Oct 12.
The Star quoted him as saying that with the new warrant, police would be able to make a request to Interpol to issue a Red Notice for Low and his father.
“This latest move will certainly help the police to track down both men. Our priority has always been to detain them as soon as possible,” he was quoted as saying.
Low, however, remains defiant. A statement issued by his attorneys suggested that the charges were designed to distract attention away from the Malaysian government’s plan to sell the Equanimity superyacht without first verifying ownership through a proper legal process.
Low, 36, is seen as the mastermind behind the multi-billion ringgit financial scandal that involves a web of offshore shell companies, financial institutions, celebrities and politicians.
A Red Notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition, according to Interpol.
It is issued at the request of a member country or an international tribunal based on a valid national arrest warrant. However, Interpol cannot compel any member country to arrest an individual who is the subject of a Red Notice. Each member country decides for itself what legal value to give a Red Notice within its borders.
The government of former prime minister Najib Razak managed to largely avoid talking about Low or initiating any probe against him but the new Pakatan Harapan government has made it one of its priorities to resolve the 1MDB scandal and bring all those involved in it to book.
Najib has already been charged with offences related to 1MDB funds. His wife Rosmah Mansor, too, has been charged with money laundering. Both have claimed trial.
Low’s rise to power and financial exploits, especially his involvement in 1MDB, have been documented in a book called “Billion Dollar Whale” by two Wall Street Journal reporters.